During our holiday visit with my in-laws, after we had enjoyed mulling over old family photos, my mother-in-law brought out several piles of worn, yellowed envelopes tied together with string—letters written by her father to her mother after he was sent off for duty in WWII. The letters were addressed “To my wife and babies,” as the oldest child was only about five at the time. He worried about his wife left to care for the three children and the farm by herself, and so wrote every two or three days.
I only had time to read a handful of letters, but I know they are all treasures to savor. Not just for the old war-era stamps, the musty antique postcards, the “censored by U.S. Military” markings, but because they hold bits of personal history and the heartfelt handwriting of someone dear. I will be spending my next visits reading through these letters, discovering the man my husband’s grandfather was, and discovering what training and war duty was like from a very personal perspective.
“Make the moments matter, for the memories you give will be with them forever.”