Doesn’t everyone love the idea of a handwritten letter? I do! So why don’t I write more letters?!
I suppose life keeps us busy and the ideas we love don’t always come to fruition. So today I decided to remedy the situation and write a letter to my mother-in-law. She’s a lovely person who lives across the country from us and has never taken to this whole social media thing. She often asks for letters, and I have every intention of writing her these long flowery accounts of our daily life, but fail to ever make good. Maybe the “long flowery” part of my thinking is the problem. I hesitate every time I think of starting because it’s a little overwhelming to set out to write the perfect letter. So today I set out to write a good enough letter!
I recently received some boxes of my late brother’s belongings. His wife died and her family was kind enough to ship us the things she had saved to remember him. In the belongings were five letters from my mother to him. I have to say these are the most precious belongings in the packages. My mother died many years ago when I was a very young mother and I’ve missed her terribly. I had a few of these kinds of letters from her as well but I didn’t keep them. I didn’t know one day she’d be gone and I’d give anything for a bit of her wisdom. I always wonder what her advice would be in situations. I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t listen to her advice very well before she died. I was young enough that I thought I knew everything. What a silly girl!! Now I cherish every word I remember her saying. I miss the way she loved my kids like no one else could. I understand that love now that I have grandchildren of my own. When the Sprouts were born, she was my first thought. I vividly remember her face when she first set eyes on my son, her first grandchild. It was pure love. So these letters mean the world to me.
I decided I would like to have the letters next to me as I’m writing this post. So I just went into the box where my brother’s belongings are still waiting to be passed to all that loved him, and the letters weren’t there. I looked through the box over and over! No letters! I began to panic! Where could they be? I ran to the drawer in my bedroom where I keep my special things and no letters. Now I’m beginning to cry. Did I throw them out with the packaging? I run out to the garbage cans and open the first can. The garbage was picked up yesterday and the can is empty. I open the recycling knowing Grandpa Sprout carried out empty boxes for me and he’s good about recycling. They’re still there, packaging and all. I start sorting through the packaging and no letters. Now I’m uncontrollably weeping. There were some packing materials that couldn’t be recycled so they may have been thrown away. I look between and into everything in the recycle can and I find what I thought was an empty shipping Fed Ex cardboard envelope. I remember when I was initially unpacking the boxes thinking that was in the package to stabilize things in the box. I look inside and find an 11×14 professional photo of my mother taken shortly before she died. I don’t have a copy of this photo. She picked a different one for each of us. Now I’m really crying because I almost lost this precious picture. It reminds me that there was a whole file of photos in the my brother’s things that I put with our other photos to be sorted and passed out. I look in the folder and there are the letters. Now I’m crying for a completely different reason. God is so faithful to give us the desires of our heart. He knew that picture would mean the world to me. He used my simple idea of writing to my mother-in-law to lead me to the photo of my precious mother. Thank you God for caring about EVERYTHING!!