A few days before the new year, my grandmother made the difficult decision to go on Hospice care. As a result, January has been a time of mixed sadness and lovely moments and gratitude for family and reminiscing. I’ve been fortunate to be able to visit with my grandmother nearly every week since the end of December, but one day out of seven hasn’t felt like enough. So, I’ve been writing letters to her. Not every day, but more days than not, I’ve mailed off postcards, cards, and letters most of which have recounted memories of visiting her house over the years. She’s been enjoying receiving them, I’ve been enjoying writing them, and they’ve sparked points of connection that extend beyond the two of us. A couple weeks ago when I was visiting, a cousin of mine told me that she’d read one of my letters in which I’d described the things in our grandmother’s front hallway that I’d loved when I was growing up. She said it was like reading something she’d written, because her childhood memories of the points of interest in that hallway are very similar to mine. Upon hearing this, my grandmother beamed at us and said how nice it was for everyone to be able to share memories and get to know each other better at the same time. Isn’t that a lovely truth?
January was a beautiful month of letters for me personally.
February, as you may know, is A Month of Letters in a much larger way.
In past years, while this brainchild of Mary Robinette Kowal has inspired me to sit down to letter writing more consistently, I’ve never quite met the challenge of sending a letter each day the mail runs in February. This year, I think it’s going to happen. As well as continuing to write to my grandmother, I plan to write reminiscing letters to other people who are dear to me. And, in keeping with the rules of the challenge, I’ll catch up–and keep caught up–on my replies, too.
In preparation for A Month of Letters, I’ve spent part of this afternoon sorting out my stack of letters awaiting responses and organizing my writing supplies (they’d fallen into a rather catawampus state). I unlocked my first two achievements and I’m ready to fill the month with letters. Anyone else playing along this year?