Friday, April 14, 2017
A to Z Challenge: Letters
For a large part of our courtship, the only communication between my future DH and me was through handwritten letters. As a missionary for my church in Colombia back in the 80's we were only allowed to write letters home to friends and family. Phone calls were way too expensive, and not nearly as easy as today. And of course there was no email or skype or other such communications.
Today missionaries are allowed two phone calls or skype calls to parents each year, one at Christmas and one on Mother's Day, but girlfriends or boyfriends are only allowed emails or snail mail.
DH was a very good letter writer and wrote very helpful and encouraging letters to me. Of course, it helped that he had been a missionary to Argentina for two years before we met, so he knew much of what I was going through . . . learning to speak Spanish, homesickness, and adjusting to a whole new culture and new responsibilities of reaching out to people and teaching them about Jesus Christ. He would write in his very small, neat printing and fill pages full of good advice and encouragement, and I loved and appreciated his support. The letters came regularly for most of the 18 months that I was away from home, except for a few months when he was dating another young lady. That break from receiving his letters was a hard time for me, as I was not sure exactly what was going on with him, but I was able to continue on with my work and trust that everything would work out for the best, no matter what.
Of course I did receive letters from others during this time, too. My parents both wrote me weekly letters, and my 5 siblings and my grandfather and other friends and relatives often sent encouraging letters too. I love that we have email and cell phones and text messages and google chat and all today where we can have almost instant communication, but there is just something special about a handwritten letter that you can hold and refer back to over and over again. I think we miss out on a lot by not writing letters as much anymore.
So, do I still go back and review the wonderful letters that I received from my DH? I wish I could, but sadly I cannot. At one point in our many moves over the years, the box that held these precious letters was disposed of. I had been stressed about the mess and the clutter after a move the birth of our DD4, and had disposed of several boxes of "stuff" without thoroughly checking what was inside. Sadly, the letters from my DH were in one of the boxes, and I no longer have them to read or to share. Maybe that's why to this day I am still such a packrat???