The family letter- my family as a guild


My Family is like a guild (this is for you Chris).

Each have their own unique gift that helps us all move along down the road.

-My mother is the historian. She has tracked down more parts of the family lines than we never knew existed. She knows the past and reminds us not to repeat it.

-My dad is the court fool (not in a bad sense). He wants to entertain and amaze with stories and ticks, laughter is his pay; he is dearly loved and cherished.

-My sister is the traveling bard. Her stories melt hearts and her voice can tame dragons.

-My brother is he blacksmith highly skilled with his hands. Formidable in battle, gentle of heart.

-And me, I’m the scribe and map maker. I draw pictures and record the goings on of our illustrious journey so it will not be forgotten.

I wonder how we choose these rolls. Do we get them by fate or does something in our nature recognize the need and fill it. I started writing the “family” letter during college. I realized that my then two grandmothers were getting old and the chances of me seeing them were not good (they lived in Ohio and Indianan, I loved in FL). I wanted them to know me, not just the child from old family get-togethers. I wanted them to have a glimpse of me, the person I was becoming.

Now it is such a tradition that I can’t, nor do I want to stop. I write a letter to  twenty different people about every three months. The group expanded when I got married because I wanted my husband’s family to feel just as loved as my own. So I buy stationary here and there and use all those crazy labels that you get sent in the mail. Sometimes I add pictures, sometimes I don’t. It is the letter that matters.

I know for most people sitting down and writing even a mass letter is crazy when they can text or email.  There is noting that matches a letter next to a face to face conversation, it is the best. When I receive that tiny white paper envelope in my mailbox I feel instant love. Not only that they spent the time but that they spent it on me.

I try hard to include what we are up too and how things are going. I even give a kind of overall family weather report sharing what I know about others. To me in a country so big it is the only way (other than visit) to get my love to:Ohio, Indianan, Road island, Portland, Alabama, Georgia, New Mexico, Kentucky,Florida, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas. Along the way  I have collected friends and coworkers. People I still want to be in my life even though I don’t live near them any more.

So I write the letters. Hoping the this small gesture will mean something to those I love.  The last time I saw my maternal grand mother she was in a wheel chair suffering from multiple strokes and dementia. Through the cloud of years and my awkwardness she remembered the letters. For an instant her face lit up and she said she had revived my letters. I could tell that some wonderful person there was reading them to her. To know that even though I could be physically near her my words had crossed the space between us, is more than I could have hoped for.

I will be forever great-full to my great-aunt Rebecca and my aunt Joyce for showing me this tradition when I was young. Never a Christmas pasted that the letters did not arrive telling us a little bit about there lives. And to a child so far from every one else in the family it was like hearing the phone ring on a very gray day. So I will continue to write the letters. I will be the phone call on someone else’s gray day.

P.S the picture is from the Web show “the guild” if you have wow(world of war craft) or roll playing friends this will make you laugh.


4 responses »

  1. LOL! The Guild! My family is probably a lot more like a 3-ring circus (clowns, elephants, acrobats, the whole shebang).

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