Red-headed Aunt Mae wrote letters to me often. What a joy to whirl a single page of eight by ten-inch lined paper round and round. Raised during the depression, Mae handwrote news of weather, health and life adventures of all relatives, community and church activities with precision from right to left, dead center. Then came the fun. Marching words like soldiers in perfect formation, she fit another four to five rows by writing rounds in all margins.
Up the left side, cross the top header, down the right side, upside down in the footer, then halt. No more space! I never inquired as to her avoidance to write on the back of the page or even consider a second. Can’t keep from smiling when twirling pages like a baton. Do you think she knew?
Once during an event at the Grange in 1972, she shared a deep worry. “People don’t write letters anymore. Once that stops so much of history in our lives will be lost. Dates, weather, crop reports, deaths, and births won’t be recorded. Recipes and poems won’t be shared, and love and encouragement will be a thing of the past. It will all be gone.”
Read a letter and you can read the heart of a person. Write a letter and words draw pictures of life to teach, encourage, and give hope.

My father-in-law, Pops, moved in with us a few years ago. A bit of a carpenter, he had crafted an oak box to keep all of his personal treasures. A letter is among them with several authors. Let me share some brief excerpts.

"Hello Kincheloe. Hope you are doing O.K. now and your arm is a lot better. We are still giving them hell. Hope to be seeing you sometime soon." Rosie

"Dear Bill, It was so good to hear that you're in as good shape as you are. You certainly had us worried for awhile. You got hit while I was in the hospital so I didn't really know how badly off you were. We finally got ourself a pretty good rest period." Woody

This letter Pop saved for over 75 years. Sitting on the front of his tank with his mess kit ready to eat, the first German artillery shell slammed into a nearby church roof. And the second exploded and shrapnel nearly tore his arm off. One of his buddies quickly grabbed and pulled him under the tank. He spent three months in different hospitals in France and Italy. He always told the story of two doctors talking in front of him about amputating his arm. He never forgot the physician who said, "I think I can save it." And he did.
This letter Pop saved came from several guys in the tank battalion while he was in the hospital. I marveled at Pops. And I wondered, why didn't I ever save letters like that. Special notes that mean so much. Just like Aunt Mae said, I probably lost a lot of marvelous memories. Then the other day, my husband and I rummaged through our closet and I found a box of letters.

Write a Letter to Someone you Love. Take the time to send a letter today! And Hug a Veteran!