While correspondence can be just words on a page, it can have so much more meaning than that.
I remember my first pen pal. I was 3 or 4 years old and my Grandmother would write to me. It was just letters about the every day happenings in Indiana (I lived in Michigan—a pretty big distance when you are 3—the state “next door”). My mother would read the letters to me and we kept them in my top bureau drawer. As I got older, I would write back to her. But, as I got older and time makes us all rush about with so many daily things…both my Grandmother and I got out of the habit.
When I went away to college, my Grammie (my other grandmother) started to write me. She and I had been living in the same house since I was in high school and being away was rough on both of us. She wrote me every week. I would write back, but not as frequently. Sometimes her letters would include “a little something extra” a couple dollars put between two blank pieces of paper…something a college student could really appreciate. Frankly, looking forward to seeing her “scribbles” every week kept me going through some very tough times. I have saved some of those letters (wish I had saved them all) and looking back at them can even give me comfort now that she is gone.
After college, I moved 800 miles away. Grammie continued to write to me, but as age and several strokes finally slowed her down…she could not write as often or as much (often apologizing in the letters about how awful her “scribbles” were). When we were cleaning out here room at the nursing home after she died, I found several partially started letters to me.
This is all to say that I value and understand the power of letter writing. And while I don’t often do it as often as I should, I am proud that the Braces Bunch is there to fufill that need. That every so often, I open my mailbox and find a little reminder of the past, as well as a friendship of the present and future.
Thank you JJ for founding a great Bunch of women who correspond and comfort, who write not because they have to, but because they want to. Because we all need to be able to reach out and be there for someone else.
Tomorrow marks the THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the Braces Bunch!
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