Welcome back to Member Monday. It’s a pleasure to feature a piece by member Darlene Keppler. Welcome, Darlene.
by Darlene Keppler
In this day of instant communiques it may seem trite to suggest we’ve lost touch with our families. We can pick up the phone in a moment and hear a loved one’s voice across the miles. But a personal letter, handwritten, disclosing thoughts and feelings seems to belong to a bygone era.
If you’re a sentimental pack rat, like me, maybe you have a drawer full of ribboned letters preserved over the years, hoarded as “pearls of great price.” My missive jewels are not kept because of their grandiose verbiage or literary style. Many are simple, thoughtful jottings to say, “I care.” Yet with each reading I laugh, or cry, and reminisce as I take mini-trips into faraway past.
I prize a letter postmarked October, 1940 and handwritten by my Aunt Agnes to encourage me in my new spiritual commitment. We are told in the Bible, “to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep.” Aunt Agnes did just that.
APO #824, postmarked September, 1945 by my brother-in-law during World War Two, is another treasure. Just days after the birth of our daughter, he wrote, “September 14 was a day of moment in the Keppler family. Somehow-it must have been against great odds-a girl was born in our family.” (Before, all boys had been born.)
Our daughter, her husband and our three granddaughters spent six and a half years m Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea. There was no e-mail in the eighties, so we kept postal routes hot with an ongoing weekly log of activities. Diane, our daughter, always began her epistles, “Dear Ones,”-miles apart, but close in spirit. After the first year, I typed, xeroxed and bound those precious first impression letters from Ukarumpa, PNG. I entitled it “Dear Ones”, a gift to treasure of friendship, chuckles and fond memories.
When grandchildren beg, “Grams, tell us about the Olden Days,” maybe it’s time to get your pen and tablet out. Tell them about their roots. It could become one of the family’s treasured possessions.
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