24. May, 2022

Letter writing

Letter writing is a dying art. In our family we were encouraged to write letters as our extended family were overseas. I had a sneak suspicion it served the double purpose to improve my Grammar. My father was a teacher an an educator at heart and he was keen that we nurture our mother tongue. I do think he succeeded.

Do you remember having a pen pal, an overseas one was extremely fashionable. This way you did not only connect, but learned a new culture at the same time. Mine was in Sweden and in East Berlin. The value of the latter dawned on me decades after when we actually reconnected as an adults via email and we still have not met in person after nearly 46 years.

My mother was the ultimate letter writer, she kept book and many friendships were formed in fact two pen pal friendships lasted 70 years. She wrote so much, a stranger once thought she was writing a novel. The funny thing was, that her handwriting was not even neat and needed some deciphering, but she wrote and responded with her heart.

These days letters are so scars and the problem is if you do not write you do not receive. Life gets busy but I do like to even send a teabag, a book mark, or add an empty card in mine. Most of all I value a pen friendship that I had with my art teacher after reconnecting when she was in her late 80's for 5 years. My last letter to her was answered by her son. Now I write to the lonely in Aged Care facilities and hope that this gesture breaks down their walls and gives them a glimpse of the world out here.