Friday, March 31, 2006

The importance of snail mail

I'm such an email fan...I rarely talk with freinds and family if they are not on email. Which I know is not good..but that just seems to be what life has become. Email is cool...before when I only wrote letters, I thought I was doing good to have a letter 'conversation' going back and forth each month. Now with email we can talk to freinds and family multiple times a day. Really I don't feel so alone on this island with my email.

I have, however, come to a new appreciation for snail mail since my grandmother just passed away two weeks ago. I was very very close with her, she was such a sweet and gentle woman yet such a strong voice in my life. Well my mom brought back a few things of hers for me, including all the letters I wrote her as a child, then a teenager and some as a young adult. Sadly they got fewer and fewer, but I did write her a LOT of letters. When I moved to Maui 13 years ago, I never wrote, I called a couple of times a year and she would come visit once a year. But as I read these letters, I found it really cool to get a glimps into my life back then and my relationship with her. I got to sort of re-live a bit of my life from the perpective of a 12 year old learing to make dinners and babysitting my little sister... up to a 17 year old talking about graduation and plans for my future. Even watching my handwriting change was neat.

And then my mom gave me her own letters to grandma to read..I could see all she went through trying to take care of three kids and deal with a step parent situation, job problems, wanting so bad to provide for us...it's helped me gain a new appreciation. I got see my mom talking about me and what she thought of me when I helped her and how she cared what I thought about all the moving we had to do. That was kinda neat :)

I know not everyone saves their snail mail, Even I threw all of mine away. I used to save it, had a very large orgainized box stuffed to the max with letters. I was very into letter writing because as a child we moved so much, in my 10th year of high school I went to 4 different schools. So Life was always about being ripped away from freinds...letters were all I had to keep in contact and to keep some sort of stability in my life. I literally worshipped the mail man..and in my senior year freinds would tease me about it! Sadly though, I got rid of my large box of letters when my husband and son and I moved here to Maui. We were worried about shipping everything over and it costing too much. I really wish I had hung on to those. I had letters from my grandmother in there :(

So many times in life, in movies...you hear of old letters being found and it's kind of neat to read those after so much time has passed. My mom even gave me some letters that my uncle wrote my grandmother when he was in the Vietnam war..letters that mentioned me in them. But now with email..how many of us actually save our emails? Isn't it the biggest relief to dump out that ebox..get it cleaned out so that there is nothing in it? And that is so funny cuz it takes up less room then actual letters do. Or our computer crashes and we loose stuff. Even when we get a new computer, we don't save those emails and send them over to our new computer. We love how fresh and clean and empty it is. I'm suddenly finding it really sad thinking how there won't be as many old love letters to find..letters from family...letters anouncing "we're having a baby!" or letters that tell grandparents the cute things thier small grandchildren said the other day. It will all be deleted from our hard drives to clean up our ebox :
I think I"m gonna start writing some actual letters...

2 comments:

elizabeth said...

that is very true. we live in a world of more clutter and fewer keepsakes.

Kimberly said...

Very true!
I use to me the queen of snail mail.
I still try to send people some mail and photos every few months. But nothing like I use to.
I rarely get snail mail either. Like you, I worshipped the mail man! I still love checking the mail, although mostly it's bills nowdays.
I have a couple boxes of letters, though I've gotten rid of some here and there.
Ryan laughs that I keep certain things.
But I explain to him that I want it to be there for my children, in case they are interested.
Like the old letters I have of my grandmothers, have helped me bits and pieces with a family tree. And some have just been fun to read (she had lots of sailor boyfriends, LOL).