The gift of letters

 

card
My Aunt Leone wrote her letter to me in a Christmas card back in 1964.  It seems to be an odd choice for such a letter, but seeing how I didn’t get to read it until Christmas morning 2015, it seems to have been the perfect choice now.

This letter was sort of late in being delivered to me.….some 52 years late to be precise.  And maybe because of that it means so much more to me now than it probably would of when I was six.

I have written in my blog before that my mother has been going through things and in doing so, discovered long lost taped interviews with artist and teachers Vivian Louise Auspaugh and Otis and Velma Dozier. Most recently she discovered a letter my Aunt Leone wrote and sent to me after my brother Taylor’s death back in 1964.

My mother couldn’t recall ever seeing the letter before.  I know that in the flood of letters and notes my parents received after my brother’s death, this was put into a box and put away as our family grieved and sought to carry on with life.

So there it lay in a box like a time capsule, ready to be read after being re-dicovered.

Dear Martin,

Today I heard about your little brother and I know you will miss him an awful lot – you had such fun together with your stamps and toys and just everything.  

The reason I am trying to write this letter is to help you.  Sometimes we all feel badly – but it’s just a little tooth ache or stomach ache – not very important – not really being sick – But little Taylor was sick, really sick a long time and I don’t think he complained very much about all the medicine and things he had to pay attention to, but finally he got too tired to try to stay with all of the ones he loved – and so he just went to sleep and God said, “You don’t need to be so sick and tired anymore” – so this is what happened.  

And now you miss him and so do your momma and papa – but how wonderful you are well and strong and you have such wonderful – loving parents.  So you try to help them – do much as you can – you will be lonesome I know but just remember that little boys grow up to be men and right now you can act grown up and brave.  This will help momma and papa.  They love you so very much – and they loved Taylor too.  

Your dear friend 

With love, 

Leone

I cried as I read the letter.  I am so thankful to now have it.

Fan mail to celebrities

imageIn the same box as the letter from Aunt Leone, there were my brother’s leg braces that he had to use as a infant because he was so pigeoned toed, two of his report cards from his time at St. John’s Episcopal School, his school notebook and a bunch of sealed and unsent fan letters Taylor had written to various local, national and international celebrities.   I don’t remember my brother doing this but it was a hobby of his along with stamp collecting and drawing as my Aunt had mentioned in her letter.

I opened the letter to Dick Van Dyke.  In beautiful cursive writing Taylor asks for an autographed photograph and says he likes his show because it’s so funny.  And signs the letter, Your friend always, Taylor Delabano.

Today we seem to speak in soundbites compared to the days when people took the time to sit down and pour themselves into the words they chose to write down.  We seem to toss around words so casually now days that words often loose their power and true meaning. I find that when I have to actually sit down and write out words old school…..pencil and paper that I tend to labor over the words and try to craft them to best express what I’m trying to express. Although I have to admit that I’m laboring over the keyboard as I write this.

In this day of Twitter, Facebook, and all the other various other ways we “communicate”to one another,  I see letters as being even more precious today.  There was a reason that when we cleaned out my grandparents house, we found bundles of letters rubber banded together and stored away.

I will remember Christmas 2015 as being the year I received the gift of a letters.

Happy New Year

Martin

 

 


7 thoughts on “The gift of letters

  1. Maybe, as with all things, it’s about timing. I came across your blog through a series of strange clickings on Twitter. It was your artwork that caught me, but your words that challenged a response …with words, instead of using the “like” button. I have been torn lately about giving up on some things that didn’t seem to have purpose (merit?) to anyone but me – writing and mailing letters, painting, writing (the big-thoughts kind), but coming here in such an out-of-the-blue way and reading your story, your words – “timely” is all I can think. Well, maybe serendipitous too. Regardless, this is all just to say, thank you for sharing your story and your words. They feel like permission to keep going with what had begun to feel like frivolous pursuits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, it made my day. Serendipitous….I love that word. My grandmother use to use it and it speaks to the mystery of life to me. Yeah, not sure what it all means, but if it brings you joy I say do it. Writing has always been difficult to me, as is reading, but I decided to be vulnerable and leave myself open to the possibilities. Just never know when something might click. Just had someone purchase a painting of mine from 1985. I considered throwing it out on the street at one point. All I can say is that its better to define yourself in your own terms than by what others think is important. Good luck to you and please feel free to send me some images of your work or links to what you are doing. All the best to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed! Thank you! I was just thinking about this conversation last night, in the midst of “too many projects” – Ah well, I guess it is good to be busy making stuff. Thanks Martin – going to check out the new post now. – oh, and please – feel free to add me to your addresses – shamsi@shamsdiances.com

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