All this week, we’ll be covering the subject of preserving letters, with special attention to the love letters of June and Art.
I’m so thankful that my parents kept their letters. The letters survived five moves during their lifetimes, and that probably means at least five instances when they had an opportunity to clean house (and toss them in the trash) or consciously choose to preserve them. They chose wisely.
I’m in a family with some pack rat tendencies and I see very little good in indiscriminate hoarding. There’s a big difference between selective preservation and clinging to everything. With my parents, many possessions came and went while the letters remained, tidily kept in boxes and probably rarely looked at or thought about.
Save the choice stuff.
A letter from the past can:
-- Provide invaluable genealogical information.
-- Clarify where people were at key moments.
-- Offer insight into past events.
-- Suggest reasons why life unfolded in the way that it did.
-- Create new ties and understandings through shared linkages in the past.
Looking through these old letters is a constant reminder that the things we do – and the choices we make – matter.
© 2010 Lee Price