We Wrote Letters

We wrote letters. Fast letters.  Page upon page of urgently penned, tightly packed sentences, sharing, with each other, the minutiae of our daily lives.  Written fast so as not to omit a single important detail.  (It all seemed important then.)  And slow letters. Handfuls of carefully chosen words, laced with love and sentiment, aching with loneliness and longing.

For four years, we wrote letters.  Every day, every week, every month, save those precious intervals, scattered around the calendar, when you came home on leave, and we traded paper for conversation, and gave our weary calloused fingers a break.

We wrote letters, while you were fighting somewhere in the Pacific and I was expanding my horizons in our small town, learning to pay the bills and drive and cope on my own.

You came home in early 1946.  A lifetime, it seemed, from when you left.  Yet in spite of  all of those letters between us, the bridge that spanned time and distance, we were both so different we barely knew one another.

We wrote letters.  Unintentionally recorded our history in an attempt to hold on to our futureTo us. That’s all in the past now.

I miss you.


14 thoughts on “We Wrote Letters

  1. You capture the urgency here, how important letter writing was then, and the way in which people tried to stay connected. It’s bittersweet, the idea that all those details can’t really capture the way daily life changes people. (And it made me want to write more handwritten letters!)

  2. I had such a strong emotional reaction to this – the urgency and determination to keep linked and that poignant ‘I miss you’. LM x

  3. Oh Val,so good to be reading what you write again:-)This is so you-intensely emotional and yet not giving in to any melodrama!One can easily see how close the two were even when separated by time and physical distance just through their letters but once that distance was bridged,they had nothing in common-sad yet it does happen!Sigh!

  4. I agree about the pacing, especially in the first paragraph. The way you wrote those lines made me read the first part faster and then the second part slower. It was very well done.

    There is something sad about the changes the war brought to people; changes even letters couldn’t bridge. I imagine this happened a lot.

    One thing this story made me want to do was hunt down my mother’s letters to my dad — all handwritten. I have them in a drawer somewhere. I’ll have to find them. Your story makes me want to touch them again and see her fluid cursive writing, which never seemed to make mistakes even though everything was written in pen.

    Valerie, thanks for this story:~)

  5. I read this the other day and am just not getting back to comment. But I have carried the beauty of these words with me. This line is my favorite, “Unintentionally recorded our history in an attempt to hold on to our future”, aside from the I miss you at the end, which speaks volumes and is such a perfect way to close the piece. Amazing, my friend.

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