Family is so important to many of us. For some, family mementos can be really special things to appreciate, cherish, and even respect.
I came across one of these mementos in recent weeks, as I’ve been helping my parents pack to move out of their home of 34 years (challenging task all around, by the way). You may remember that I recently shared a story about what was basically a money time capsule, finding some memorabilia while helping with this same move. Well, this other item I found was very cool, as it involved a letter from my grandfather.
You see, I never met my grandfather. He passed away when I was just a toddler, back in the 1970’s. He lived thousands of miles away, and actually never got a chance to meet me in person. My other grandfather passed away before I was born, so the reality is that I never met either of my grandfathers.
Further, there are very few pictures we have of him. Those few pictures that I’ve seen were all I really knew of him, other than what I heard from some stories. One of which is that when I was born, he was mailed a picture which he carried with him in his wallet and he proudly showed off his only grandson (he had other granddaughters). So, when my father recently told me that he stumbled upon a letter from my grandfather to him, I was quite curious to check it out.
It was very cool to read this letter. It’s the only communication I’ve ever seen of his, as I’ve seen no other letters and never heard his voice. Anyway, I read through it fascinated with how he wrote, and what his thoughts were as he composed the letter to my father. It was apparently from the late 1960’s, before I was born.
Keep in mind that back then, there was no email, texting, facebook, etc. To keep in touch, people either saw each other face to face, wrote letters, or made expensive long distance phone calls.
Anyway, I read through the letter, taking in this window to my grandfather’s personality. I saw a man who seemed like a very nice person, very interested in family and how they were doing, and in sharing what was going on with him. The letter seemed to be written with genuine warmth. It was cool reading it.
There was one part in particular that made me smile, and feel an instant bond with him. He made a comment in the letter, toward my Dad, that there was no urgent need for my Dad to call. His comment was that calls were expensive there “is no need to spend money”.
At that moment, I felt like I understood my grandfather I never met 🙂
It seems like family teachings can pass down several generations!
Anyway, the whole letter was a priceless memento that was a true pleasure to read. Money can’t buy something like that, and I value it immensely.
Now, there may be one slight problem. As I brought up the letter with my father a week after it was found, he remarked that he wasn’t exactly sure where he put it, and hopes it’s in one of the boxes. Ugh!
Well, maybe now, this means it will be unpacked and found again in the future at some undetermined time, where one of my own kids will smile at how Great-Grandpa was just like Grandpa and Dad 🙂