I thought about Grandpa's handwriting. As a small child I loved his handwriting and tried my best to imitate it. I thought about all the letters we wrote back and forth to each other throughout my life, until shortly before he passed away. I thought about how lucky I am that I saved so many of those letters, and how Mom saved the ones he wrote before I was old enough to take care of them myself.
I thought about how Grandma had saved the letters we all wrote to them, and how wonderful it was to find them as we were cleaning Grandma's house one day after her passing. Those preserved letters were a final, loving gift from them to all of us. We went through all those letters, all carefully placed by Grandma back into their envelopes with return addresses, old postmarks, and stamps that cost a penny or two, bundled together with strings and old rubber bands - our family history in letter form.
Letter-writing is a dying art. It's such a joy to have a life-long record of communication between my grandparents and me in our own handwriting, of the large and small events of our lives and the feelings we shared with each other. Coming across my first gardening book reminded me how well Grandma and Grandpa and I got to know each other through the letters we wrote, and I'll always be grateful for all they shared with me.