Thursday, March 17, 2011

A letter writing campaign~ weekly letter's bring news from home.

And none will hear the postman's knock, Without a quickening of the heart.  For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?~W.H. Auden

 A year ago my grandmother, Audine, moved from her hometown of Brownfield, Texas to an assisted living apartment in Flower Mound so she could be near my mother.  At 94 years of age, this move was difficult.  Feeling connected to home was going to be the toughest part, as she would no longer have a home to go back to. 
 Little did we know, she would not be forgotten.  
Meet Nora and Becky.  They were my grandmother's next door neighbors for years.  The kind of neighbors who love well.  For example... 

  • Nora often walked next door with a hot pan of something amazing "just out of the oven."  
  • Nora's husband moved my grandmother's newspaper from end of the driveway to her front porch every morning for years.  
  • When Nora's daughter, Becky, moved back to town, you could often find the two of them "sittin' a while" on my grandmother's front porch.  
When we cleaned out my grandmother's house, we gave this special pair a quilt that my great-grandmother had made~ they were pleased as punch!

When my grandmother moved in to her new apartment in Flower Mound, Becky began sending my grandmother weekly letters, always on pink paper in a pink envelope~ full of news from home.  You know, important things... the antics of their cats, the loss of their precious dog, news of Becky's piano lesson progress, trips to see grandchildren, and recently, information about the sweet ladies who bought my grandmother's house.  She painted a picture with her words of my grandmother's house being loved and cared for as the new owners entertained their Bible classes and hosted ladies luncheons.  Hearing these things delight my grandmother, and when I visit her, we sit and read them together and enjoy all the news from home!
This labor of love simply astounds me.  In the world of technology where we rush to communicate, there is nothing more beautiful than the time and thought required to write a hand-written letter.  I asked Becky what motivated her to begin this correspondence.  Her answer was simple: 

     "simply prayed about Audine... when it was time for her to leave her home and our neighborhood.  My prayer was that I could do something to help Audine feel better in her new situation.  Then the letter writing idea came to me.  I remembered how much letters meant to me when I was a young mother living in California and then North Carolina.  My mother and grandmother wrote to me, and I looked forward to their letters.  It was a connection to home!
      As for the pink letters, I got the idea when my oldest grandchild learned to read.  I thought that would be exciting for her to get and read her very own letter.  And her favorite color is pink.  When I was a the Office Supply I bought an entire ream of pink paper and 60 envelopes to match.  That is how the pink letters started out."

A prayer and pink paper~ 
Sweet, simple love from a neighbor.

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