LETTERS YELLOWED IN TIME

  

Ink. Paper. Love…

People don’t write “Letters” anymore; the stuff of personal history stored on pages aged through time.  I’m a romantic from slower times with a couple boxes of time colored letters. If you have lived as an adult before the advent of the internet, you will have saved some of those letters.

Do you recall the excitement of receiving a postal-stamped letter from a love, from Mom, Dad, family, or friend? It wasn’t public like this, but a secret, sacred sort of thing; just for you!

They were sent before electronic communications available now to every man, woman, and child on the planet. Phones didn’t have answering machines and long distance was expensive, so we wrote people we loved a letter hoping the postal mail would treat it kindly and get it to them in days, not weeks.

Handwritten letters are history coming alive. It is paper the person you loved touched, or maybe even kissed before sealing it up. Now more precious, though “yellowed” by time, many of those letters have a ghostly quality because, after all, your loved ones, in some cases, have passed on.

But now, here in your hand, is a personal letter written to you; an investment of time by someone who loved you very much, and for a brief moment you can talk to them again…

I’m in the reminiscing mode this week — listening to music that puts me at 19, 20 and 21 in Latin America where a letter from home was like air to breathe. Sometimes I wouldn’t get one for weeks. Sometimes I would get 2 or 3 in one week. And a telephone call with spotty service if at all, or faxing and texting — which didn’t exist –was not an option.

To put it mildly, getting a letter from home, and especially from a girl, was 10 times a feeling you now get when someone hits “LIKE” on FB or Twitter, except you could touch the paper they touched, then re-read it again as you savored every thoughtful ink-spelled word.

All soldiers from those days understand even more than others. Your life is on hold, and suddenly someone from home unlocks the door and you walk through a portal to be with them for a few minutes again. And the bonus? If you are reading it, it means you are still alive!

I recall getting a single letter from my Dad of three pages. I wept. It took him days to write. Now it is a treasure beyond price. Others still with the fragrance of perfume from some nice girls, and those faithful letters from Mom are stored in an ammo box which I need to unload, read once again, and put into plastic pages for someone else to enjoy.

We should hand-write again, especially to Mom or Dad if alive. Can you imagine the shock, pleasure, joy they would receive? Is there a missionary, a soldier, some classmate you could text message, but want to actually touch them but can’t? That’s called a “letter.”

Should natural or manmade disasters cause it, FB and other social networking phenomenons of the past 20 years will all go away one day. And then, that one day you will find your yellowed letters, and a tear will fall, and a smile will crease your face as a sigh comes from deep within. You will also whisper this to the name of the person who sent it: “I love you…”

ENJOY A SONG:

Here’s a link to a beautiful song called “Yellow Letters” by Nino Bravo, a singer from Spain 1973, who died that year in a tragic accident. You may not understand the words, but the emotion is all about the love found in the “Cartas Amarillas”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZvFrWToECk