Wilson Post Blogs
Letters from the edge...
Letters from the edge…
By Becky Andrews
A few weeks ago I found some old letters that my mother had written. Letters sent to her mother, my grandmother, who lived on the Carolina coast; a 12 hour drive away from our home in Tennessee. My grandmother saved everything, and letters from her only daughter were no exception. I read page after page of correspondence between a very young mom asking for recipes and advice on colic, then letters from a middle aged mom of 6 asking for advice on teenage sons and daughters and wondering if the boys will ever talk again and if the girls ever ‘shut up’. Finally there were letters from a post-menopausal woman asking her mom if she’s eating well and updating her on the children;
“Mike is dating a super nice woman. Not sure what she sees in him since he’s been married twice before? I can’t get over what a fabulous mom Laura has become with her two boys. She is so organized about everything. You should see the arts and crafts she does with both of them. I told her she needs a hobby that doesn’t involve pipe cleaners and glitter or she’ll end up like crazy Aunt Madge. Kathy is enjoying the newly married life and wants to start a family. I told her to get a cat first. Becky just finished her first semester of college and she let us know that she’s changing her major from nursing to English Literature because, and I quote, ‘you and dad are NOT the boss of me anymore!’ Who really needs the stability a nursing career can bring? The world just doesn’t have enough struggling writers. Christy is biding her time before she leaves for college in two years. She almost hisses in the morning when I wake her for school. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she’s arguing with me about the importance of recycling and can’t believe her parents are so irresponsible with refuse. I told that the same two breasts fed all 6 of my children and that alone gives me a free pass to do whatever I want to with my ‘refuse’. Ralph says it’s because she was being reared in the middle of our obsession with Peter, Paul and Mary. Tony is still doing wonderful in school and he’s now the very proud wearer of contact lenses. It was tough on Christy and Becky when he retired those coke bottle glasses. They really miss seeing how big his eyes could get when he’d pull the glasses away from his face. What can I say…? Kids come up with their own fun when you don’t have cable.”
She signed off every letter with a clever little valediction like ‘Love your eternally unorganized daughter’ or ‘Love from your NOT pregnant daughter’
Letter writing has become sort of a communication anomaly these days. We are more likely to see hand written letters hanging in the Smithsonian next to the stone etched hieroglyphics display, than pulling one out of a mailbox. I may decide to start writing letters again. Not to my mom of course, because I have no idea where to send it? But if I could write her a letter I’d probably ask her opinion on the one thing I just can’t figure out… ‘Why do the housewives continue to have dinner parties if they all end in a disaster or lawsuit?’ She’d totally understand!