Monday, March 28, 2011

by the hand

Texts and tweets are here today and gone tomorrow. Emails don't seem much more enduring. They can be deleted in a twinkling. Hand written notes and letters, now they can live on and on.
My mother has been sitting and sifting through old boxes and drawers. She came upon a note written by her sister in August of 1960. That was amazing in itself. The fact that my aunt wrote the note when her new baby girl was three hours old made the letter a golden fragment of family history, a treasure.
Yesterday, my mother showed me a letter written by her Aunt Daisy in 1950. I knew very little about this great aunt, and reading her thoughts and feelings, written so honestly and bravely after the death of her elderly husband was soul stirring.
Old photos are a glimpse of the past, but old letters take us by the hand and lead us there.

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