Recently my blog buddy Kate over on Kate takes 5 celebrated six years of blogging and, cough cough, one million views! Imagine that. To celebrate her achievement she’s compiled a listography featuring her favourite posts, which I’ve decided to join. Perhaps you might too?
I’ve been blogging four years come this January. In that time I’ve published 880 posts. Trawling through those old posts I’ve been amazed at the variety. They really do reflect the ups and downs of my life and are indeed, ‘My thoughts on a page.” Today for your reading pleasure I’ve chosen not the most read, nor the most liked posts, instead I’ve gone for older posts that still speak to me even though some are over three years old. I’ve tried to mix them up a bit so hopefully there is something there for all of you.
My intention is to list the posts tonight with an introduction to each and to reblog them over the next week starting tonight with the first on my list.
So trumpet call… dadadadadada…my chosen five favourite posts are…
1. I grieve for the hand written letter… During a trip to my childhood home in Dublin my mum shares some old letters of my father. They transport me to a time I never knew and remind me how precious a letter is.
2. My kids are so lucky to have a mother like me… Such is my devotion to my children, that I went on a night out with friends, stayed out too late and even had a few drinks in order to show them what not to do. Definitely mother of the year.
3. Silence is the greatest enabler of abuse… I really hesitated before adding this one and stuck it in the middle hoping it will be missed! This is a post which tells another story. My past is no secret, but what I rarely speak of is the five years post abuse, during which I was stalked and lived a very difficult life. This post tells the story of just one day in that life.
4. Today is THE day… Sorry to add another heavy post but this one means a lot to me. Three years ago this month my great friends son Daniel died of infection as a result of complications after a bone marrow transplant. He had leukemia. This post tells the story before the transplant and gives recognition to the wonderful young lady in the United States, who we will never meet, but who gave us all hope when there was none. Even though it didn’t have a happy ending, we will be forever in her debt for her bravery and kindness. Reading it back it was good to remember our hope and excitement even if it was tinged with fear.
5. An open letter to Garth Brooks... I will finish with a bit of humour. Those who do not live in Ireland will not know that a couple of years ago Garth Brooks announced he was coming to Ireland. We all went country music mad, but it didn’t quite go as planned. So naturally I had to write a letter to
the fecker Garth.
So there you have it my five favourites I hope you enjoy them over the next few days.
As promised here is number one on my list.
I grieve the hand written letter.
When did you last write a letter?
A whole generation have grown up having never received or written a letter. They do not know what it feels like,
to pick up a pen and a writing pad, to address a letter and date it.
Then to begin, Dear…..
I have just returned from a three day visit to my mum. Whilst there we took out old photographs,
and lost ourselves in times gone by.
Then my mum showed me some letters she has kept.
What treasures. Real life stories.
The first I read was held within a well worn envelope. A beautifully hand written letter,by my grandmother to my father.
It was addressed to, “My dearest darling son”. As I held it in my hand I imagined my grandmother writing it.
The ink was a bit smudged in places. Had she shed tears?
This letter was being sent in response to one received from my father, telling my grandparents of his plans to marry my Mother.
He was only twenty three and had been concerned his parents would consider him too young. In her reply, my grandmother spoke of her love for my Dad. She wrote,“my dearest boy we do not think you foolish to be marrying so young”.
She knew he would, “fully appreciate his responsibilities despite his young years” and continued,
“upon hearing the news your Dada had swelled with pride”.”Never before did I hear him talk so highly of his fine, strong, handsome son”.
She finished the letter saying she wished “to post this quickly, as I know you will be waiting”.
I read and re read the letter then I carefully folded it and returned it to its envelope, addressed to a flat in London where once my Dad had lived. I was holding my history in my hands, a tangible link between me and a grandmother I never met. Their conversation so real it was easy to forget the age of this letter, or the fact they were both no longer with us.
Then I opened another letter. This one was short. It was addressed to my grandparents and was written by my father. He had a special purpose for this letter.It was to arrive on the 25th of July 1955, the day he was to be married. The opening line asked his parents to “look carefully at the date for as you read this, Agnes and I will be man and wife”.
It was his way of sharing his wedding day in London with his family in Donegal, Ireland.
As I read these letters I was deeply moved. My father and grandparents had held these self same letters in their hands. I was looking at their handwriting and reading their thoughts. Each letter was a story in itself. I knew the ending, this was the beginning.
It made me think of the enormity of what we have lost. Technology has made the art of letter writing redundant. Our children do not understand “snail mail”, nor do they know how to write letters and almost all will never know what it is like to receive one from a loved one.
They will never feel the giddy anticipation,
felt prior to opening an eagerly awaited letter hand written by someone they love. The thrill of rushing away to some quiet place to be alone. Reading and rereading their letter over and over before carefully folding it returning it to its envelope and placing it
carefully into their pocket. Or perhaps it is a letter to be secreted away from prying eyes. The joy of bringing it out to read again anytime they wish. The chance to keep it always as a lasting memory of a bygone day.
Modern technology I applaud you, but I will forever mourn the loss of pen and ink and a handwritten letter.
How can an email possibly compare?