Earlier this month, I received a lovely letter from Linda McCoy of Albion, a long-time reader and faithful contributor to this column. Linda continues the wonderful practice of sending cards and real letters through the mail. She doesn’t use email.
Thinking about a letter that you will write — reviewing the words in your head — and then sitting down to write that letter slows us down ... in many respects that slowing down is not appreciated as much as it should be. Maybe for some people writing letters on paper and mailing them will become a meaningful part of this together alone ... or alone together ... experience.
Here are portions of Linda’s letter:
“I was pleased when receiving your letter yesterday. It made my day!
“I thought of you last week when looking through my desk and found my grandchildren’s quotes from years ago. The cousins, Hannah and Ashton, spending time with us after the holiday were playing the game (new) Sorry! When Ashton realized Grandma could advance over her, she reminded me, ‘Remember, I am your granddaughter!’
“Ashton is now a mother of two, Sutton, 3 in July, and Payton, 5 months. Sutton learned to recite the Pledge of Allegiance months ago. The grandparents had been taking walks with her as she drives her pink battery-operated car through an Auburn area neighborhood. When Sutton sees a flag, she starts the pledge and people will ask, ‘Is she saying the pledge?’
“She doesn’t know a stranger. Her grandparents helped her paint stones to put on the trail in Rieke Park. A beautiful trail where they see wildlife, too! Making the most of our situation!”
Many grandparents — even from afar — are helping their grandchildren — and their parents — get through this watershed moment in world history.
Courtney Zuehsow of rural Garrett shared how Tia, 2, spent a couple hours at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. When she got home, she gave Courtney a big hug and said, “I missed you while I was on holiday!”
Courtney added that Tia really hasn’t been out much and she has seen far too many episodes of Peppa Pig.
Early one morning this week, I woke up to a WhatsApp voice message from our daughter Catherine in Santiago about help she needed with Priscilla, 4. Even though coronavirus cases are relatively low, the Chilean capital has begun another total lockdown.
This was Catherine’s message: “Priscilla wants to talk. I am trying to get Priscilla to let me put her earrings back in. I cleaned her earrings with disinfectant and now I need her to let me put them back in. Priscilla wanted to do it herself. I’m trying to tell Priscilla that when I was a little girl like Priscilla Grandma Grace put earrings in my ears. So now I’m the mommy and she is the little girl and I need to put Priscilla’s earrings in for her because I’m the mommy and she’s the daughter. And she wanted to see a video of you putting earrings in my ear when I was a kid!”
I connected with them right away by WhatsApp video. While I shared with Priscilla all my — highly embellished — memories of putting in Catherine’s earrings when she was a little girl, Catherine deftly put in Priscilla’s earrings.
Three generations got an earful.
Thank you for your letters, by U.S. mail and email. Your stories are cherished, and through this column they can brighten the lives of many people. I always need more stories! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail stories to me at 816 Mott St., Kendallville, IN 46755. Please share this column with friends and family — they might have stories to share, too!