A Journal of Letters


Four years ago I made a personal commitment to write to my 94-year-old grandmother every week for the rest of her life. My mother has been caring for her for several years, and because my grandmother’s eyesight is failing, Mother reads my letters to her.

It hasn’t been easy to write every week, but as I have struggled to fulfill my commitment, two specific blessings have come into my life. The first blessing was one I expected—the joy of knowing that both my mother and my grandmother would come to know and love our five children as they read about our daily activities and experiences.

The second blessing came after I had written the letters for one year. Without my knowledge, my mother had kept each letter I sent. After accumulating a year’s worth of letters, she bundled up the stack and mailed the letters back to me.

As I reread my old letters, I discovered I had a detailed family journal in my hands Although I recorded major events in my personal journal, detailed accounts of our family’s day-to-day activities were kept alive in the pages of my letters. This unexpected family journal paints a vivid picture of our family life and will help our posterity know what we were like as a young, growing family.

[photo] Photograph by Maren E. Mecham