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It doesn’t take Hilary Clinton, the DNC, or any number of companies under investigation to understand that emails hang around a long time, on one server or another, unless extraordinary efforts are made to be rid of them.   Handwritten letters? Tossed in the trash, or tossed in a drawer or a box or somewhere.

Several years ago, when my mom downsized from her house to a retirement apartment, the transition was a rushed affair with my mom focusing on the few belongings she chose to keep while turning a blind eye to the myriad of things donated or thrown out without close examination.  Firm closing dates force that, as well as a lifetime of accumulation. 

There were a few things I pulled aside as I plied through her things, including a letter from my grandmother to my mom.  It looked old, and the first few lines drew my interest to preserve it and read it later.  I recently re-discovered it and read it in full.  My mom would have been 20 years old when she received this:

Thursday Oct. 8, 53

Dear Doris,

I am glad to hear you have work to do.

Sometimes we may wonder why things happen as they do when we did not think it should be that way or was not what we wanted, but there is a reason.

We are born not knowing sorrow nor gladness, labour or love, hardship and prosperity, hate or vanities, war or peace.

Through out our life we experience each of these then we die as we we were born, except that we have shown God how we can accept each of these, how we suffer or rejoice with each one.  That must be our trial as we enter the Gates of Heaven. How can we rejoice if we have not known sorrow.  How can we know love if we have not seen hate.  How can we enjoy the peace to come if we have not known hardship.

“As he came forth out of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he comes and shall take nothing of his labour that he may carry away in his hand.”

“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the Heaven.  A time to be born, a time to die.  A time to plant and a time to pluck up.  A time to weep and a time to mourn.  A time to break down and a time to build up.  A time to get and a time to lose.”

“What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?  I know that there is no good in them but for a man to rejoice and do good with his life which God giveth him for it is his portion.”  Eccl.

So it is Doris.  We must find some enjoyment out of what we do, no matter how much we dislike it.  There is a reason for each of these things, some lesson in it you must learn before you go out.  If you have a smile and a good thought for each one you meet and look for that something good in everything you do, then your days work is done and tomorrow will come in its own way no matter how you will it.  Happiness always comes in the most unexpected ways.  Enjoy what you have to do, Doris.  I believe that is the key  to happiness.  Let God walk beside you and you will never walk alone.



I mailed this back to my mom and asked her what she remembered of it.  She was very pleased to receive it, as it was at least one precious letter that she obviously had kept for many years.  She’ll keep it still.  I gather that this letter was a reminder of much advice received and possibly the best traits of her mom that she remembers.  I could wax poetic about the power of words, but, I don’t need to, right?

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  1. I'm not sure how I ended up on your Blog this morning, probably reminiscing about the Blue Horse paper labels I used to collect when I was a child. Of course we all know the rabbit hole we can get lost in when thoughts start exploring these tunnels. This was a detour, a little bunker on the side of one of these tunnels where I happened to stop and take a deep breath. What a beautiful letter; thoughtful, wise, lovingly written. Your grandmother must have been an extraordinary woman, a DNA bloodline that one could be thankful for having the opportunity to possess. Thank you for this moment of peeking inside the envelope...