Stories of A Lifetime Presents: “The Letters”
Community correspondence sparked from the isolating 2020 pandemic focused on easing the burden of loneliness.
Hello, my name is Holly. I am 40 years old and a single mom of a 9-year old boy named Easton. His father, Brian, passed away from cancer two years ago. I enjoy writing, I love history, and I like being a helpful, involved community member. I keep thinking about my grandma, and if she were alive today how lonely she would be because of this pandemic. I know receiving a letter would turn her day around. It wouldn’t matter if the writing was profound or merely about what I ate for dinner. Knowing someone cared to communicate would bring instant joy. So, my friend, I’d like to write some letters to you. I know they will help me feel useful and less lonely. I hope these letters are helpful to you and that they spark you to reminisce about your own life, love, and good times.
June 15th, 2020
I helped my friend, Marc, clean out a shed on his property. The property has been in his family for decades. The shed was packed full of rusty junk, rotten wood, moldy furniture, and lots of evidence of mice. We built a bon fire and whatever could be burned we threw on the fire. It was a full day project, but we had a good time. It was a beautiful day and the lake front property made for a gorgeous setting. Plus, I like projects- especially when I get to clean and organize and make something look better.
The few pieces of furniture that had drawers were not my favorite to deal with. I don’t mind dirt and grime but the surprise mouse remains in most of the drawers were too icky for me. We pulled out a dilapidated desk that unfortunately was beyond repair. Between mold and rot there was no coat of paint that was going to fix this piece. We did a quick check of the drawers- mouse nest materials mixed with undiscernible junk. The top center drawer was jammed and wouldn’t open. We dumped some contents into garbage bags and tossed the desk onto the growing fire. I stood back and looked at the desk and the flames creeping up the sides of it and said, “Wait.” I told Marc that we needed to take the desk off of the fire and check that top drawer. I know all we’ve been finding was junk but what if there actually was something valuable in that stuck little drawer. He grumbled but agreed and we cautiously and quickly removed the desk from the flames. It took a crowbar and some time but we managed to open the top drawer and saw more mouse nest materials, indiscernible junk, and an intact envelope.
Marc opened the envelope and pulled out a letter. It was a handwritten letter that Marc’s dad had written almost 70 years ago to his parents. It told of his first time being away from home at about age ten and how much he missed his mom and dad. Marc said the desk had been his grandma’s. What a sweet treasure that she kept all those years from her little boy and what a blessing that we salvaged that letter and were able to give it back to Marc’s dad. So sweet!
My son is visiting his grandparents up north this week. He’s never been away from me for a whole week before. He’s having lots of fun as his grandparents live on a lake and they like to fish and build campfires and be outdoors. He called me one day a little sad. He does miss me but he wanted to make sure I hadn’t eaten his ice cream while he’s away. Oh, boy! I don’t think I’ll be getting a handwritten letter from him about how much he misses me, but that’s ok. Do you have old letters from friends or family?
If you’d like to write back to me, you are very welcome to.
I will get a PO Box soon and let you know what that is. For now, maybe someone could help you scan and email your letters back to me at Holly@StoriesofALifetimeLLC.com. Otherwise, maybe you’ll find it helpful to just journal your thoughts and write them down without sending them. You do what is helpful to you, friend.
Do you have old letters from friends or family? Have you ever found a treasure when cleaning out old furniture or a house? When was the first time you were away from home?