How does one develop a habit that becomes a routine? While often intentional, driven by goals and challenges, I also think that it can be lovingly modeled. People have asked me, how and why I send postcards; that seed was planted by my mother.
Joan Crawford Ringwood had four siblings, one lived in Auburn and the rest – out of town. Plus, her best friend was a Missionary Nun living in Brazil! Social media did not exist, and long-distance telephone calls were a luxury – she was a letter writer! Yes, this mother of 10 children carved out time to regularly compose the most beautiful letters scripted in perfect penmanship.
I have a vision of her sitting at the kitchen table. All the children had been fed, down for a nap or playing, allowing a brief window of quiet time. She fixed the same lunch for herself that was prepared for the kids (a PBJ and a glass of milk) but alongside her dish was a stationery pad and pen. That is where and when she often wrote her letters.
I cannot say that I executed my letter-writing habits in the same lovely manner, but I do recall the obligatory birthday and Christmas “thank you notes” and later, letters to my siblings as they moved away for college. A letter, a thank you note, a postcard – they are such personal reflections of the moment! They often live on as mementos or treasures.
Cleaning out my mother’s house back in 2012 a priceless treasure was discovered. Tucked away were ten bundles of letters each wrapped in ribbon. She had saved all her children’s letters, college years and beyond. Goodness, this find felt like a big HUG and another “I love you” from someone terribly missed.
-TRH (November 2022)