The Treasure of Letters
By: Michelle Remold
I don’t think that anything can take the place of a handwritten letter. When I was in college, I loved getting letters from family and friends. In fact, at that time I had a shoe box of assorted stationary, so that I could write letters.
I actually keep every letter that has been sent to me. I have always kept them thinking that one day I would go back and read them. Honestly though, as soon as I get I a letter or card and respond to them, they all get tossed in the same box and I rarely think about them. Today however I was taking out my fall/winter clothes from the back of my closet and had to move a fairly large box which contained all of my stationary and the stacks of letters and cards I have received over the years.
I finished swapping out my clothes, the entire time thinking about the box. I decided to dive into it. If nothing else it would be nice to reminisce. The first half of the cards and letters were mailed to me while at the University of Northern Iowa. 21st birthday cards, letters that were pages long from friends, and numerous thinking of you cards.
I soon found some old birthday cards, which included the last birthday card from before my grandpa passed away. I then found the letters from my great-grandma. During my freshmen year at UNI, I decided to start writing letters to my great-grandma a couple times a month. I did it just so she would receive some mail, but soon I started to get letters back. My great-grandma couldn’t see well enough to write, but would have someone else write me back and she would sign every letter and each one would say in her handwriting “P.S. Thank you for writing and do come visit when you are home.”
I think everyone enjoys getting letters. We would always send postcards to my grandpa when he has in the nursing home and we were on vacations. I have to say that there is much more sentimental value behind them as well. While it takes time to type an email, I think writing a letter takes a little more effort.
As I put away the letters, I pulled out the things I hadn’t before. Old pictures, newspaper articles, and lastly my great-grandma’s Lefse recipe. I wish that I had valued these things sooner, as I would have many more things with my grandpa’s writing on them. The letters I have now are priceless and I treasure each one. And the shoe box I mentioned at the beginning, I now have a box twice that with just blank cards and stationary in it and I still take the time to send letters over a quick email.
Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.