Today, I took on some of the filing cabinets and boxes hidden in closets to free up some space in our lives. I found myself hunched over cards and letters I've saved over the years for most of the afternoon. Who knew I had been carrying around so much paper all these years? Revisiting the past always makes for a strange but soothing day.
Although I got rid of a lot of sentimental stuff, I saved the "best of" from all the letters and cards I've ever received. I tried to limit the keepers to those that really summed up that person or my relationship to them. I kept the ones that would have me smiling and laughing in years to come.
At first, I felt it was my duty to do so. I mean, by the time North is my age, people may not even send physical letters anymore. Perhaps mom's old letters from the last century will be foreign and quaint to him then?
Maybe one day North will read some of them and wonder who some of these people are? I hope he finds their stories and sense of humor about this silly game we call life as compelling as I have. He can skim through their words and build an image of what his lame old mum used to be like in her glory days and what life was like in the late 1900s. Wow, that really sounds weird.
I almost wanted to contact some of the folks that wrote to me back then to see if they wanted me to return their letters for curiosity's sake. But I worried that would offend or seem just plain odd to anyone else. Ever wonder what you wrote in some of those letters you penned so long ago? I know I do. In many ways, I think letters still belong to the people that wrote them I guess.
Some of them were saved from recycling so that I can re-read them through North's life for a little perspective on what he might go through as a young adult based on what I went through. Those letters should be a hilarious reminder to me that I have been a pretty unruly kid for my parents. Hopefully, they will give me the strength to allow him to make his own mistakes and find his own path like I did.