10-31-2008 01:25 AM
I loved this part:
"That morning Mom had said to me, "I only wish I had known Lena better." I wondered how you could possibly know a person better whom you had been acquainted with for seventy-eight years and had seen almost daily for much of that time, but I think I understood what she meant....And when you love people you always want to know them better."
My grandmother passed away a few months ago. Though she was 97, she was still very alert and fully herself though she had been slowly getting weaker and sleepier. She was warm, gracious and incredibly loving. Though I had known her well and spent a lot of time with her, there is so much more that I wish that I had thought to ask her and so much more that I wish I knew about her and her life with my grandfather. (They had eloped, had six loving children, built a strong business and had been the center of our large family but he had passed away a few years ago.) I knew them both well and often had dinner with them during the workweek and spent nearly every Sunday with them, but when you love people you always want to know them better.
10-31-2008 01:55 PM
11-05-2008 09:44 PM
You make an excellent point- we should get closer to those we love, and learn all we can about our family. My own mother has shared much of her past and the past of her family with me- I've taken copious notes, but wish that I had just run a recorder instead. Perhaps I can get her to tell me some stories this Thanksgiving.
11-06-2008 05:53 PM
"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
11-11-2008 01:49 PM
This comment is on a different subject, but regarding the days after Emily went to college, on page 118 Amy writes, "Emily and I sent letters back and forth-written on paper and sealed in envelopes."
At first I thought this sentence awfully redundant (how else would you send letters?) until I suddenly realized almost no one communicates this way anymore, particularly young adults. Today's family news is sent through cell phones, instant messaging, texting, and for those of us who are really dinosaur-age, through e-mail. We've gained a world of convenience, but sacrificed a special little joy - of seeing that handwritten-addressed envelope in the day's mail and knowing someone thought of you. I was glad to learn that there are a few of us out there that still send an old-fashioned letter now and then.
11-11-2008 05:33 PM
11-12-2008 08:33 PM
Carol, I have two penpals who I met through a messageboard. I have been writing to both of them for about five years, and just met one this summer for the first time. I've never met the other, but we still write about every month. It is so fun to go to the mailbox and get a letter, much more fun than getting an email, even though the words may be the same.
For some neat thoughts about incorporating letter writing in our lives, pick up one of the books of Alexandra Stoddard, like Living a Beautiful Life or The Decoration of Houses. She even has one called Gift of a Letter, but I prefer her books on home decoration or grace notes for living. (Thanks to her I keep a collection of colored pencils in a flower pot on a desk -- they are there to add a bit of spontaneous color to writing from this definitely-not-an-illustrator person.) She has lots of other graceful ideas from which to pick and choose, if you don't let her seem too, too much.