I hope everyone’s Sunday has gone well! Even though this quick post has nothing to do with what many have been focused on today, I will feel remiss if I don’t address it. So if Easter was a part of your day, today, please do hang around, but you might want to check out any one of these first (in fact, check them all out):
- “Easter or Passover” (a TW Commentary)
- “Three Hard Questions for Easter” (a full Tomorrow’s World episode)
- “Three Hard Questions for Easter” (a TW Short for those with less time)
- “The Surprising Origins of Easter” (a TW Webcast)
- “The Holy Days: God’s Master Plan” (a free booklet on the biblical Holy Days for you to study)
Sorry — given the day, I couldn’t help myself!
However, that really is not what this post is about. Rather, I have a question: Do you save old correspondence, at all?
I’m a pretty sentimental sort. I save letters and cards. Cards I will eventually throw away before letters, but letters — I mean, real letters, handwritten by friends and loved ones — I usually cannot bring myself to throw away. Not entirely sure why, but it’s certainly true.
This has been brought to light by a little water damage part of our belongings experienced not too long ago. Here were we are staying while we are “between homes,” we were storing some things in a room that allowed some water in (totally our fault!) which our stored belongings in their cardboard boxes dutifully soaked up. (Good job, stuff!) Much of the newly soggified items were, thankfully, items that I had only packed up out of laziness and which I should have gotten rid of in the first round of moving — items in my library that I will never read again, nor care all that much to keep, some old schoolwork from my kids from years ago that should have been thrown away (not the cute little essays or writings; more like the boring, fill-in-the-blank worksheets). Some of the items were or more importance (some old photos and some actually worthwhile books), but not that big of a deal.
However, one thing that did get soaked that caught my attention were some old letters. Just this morning, I was going through some of them, and they included, for instance, some of the letters the Now-Mrs. Wallace Smith and I had exchanged during our early friendship and dating in the pre-Mrs. Wallace Smith days. These things are precious to me, and — again, as a sentimental sort — I hold on to stuff like this. I see them as “the historical documents” (I think I got that phrase from the movie Galaxy Quest). I imagine my kids one day reading through them after I’m dead (hopefully later than next week, by the way 🙂 ) and seeing how our family came together. Needless to say, I am letting them dry out and planning to keep them, even if the ink is a little blurred, now.
Other letters are there, as well — from back when I was in high school, or on the other side of the child/adult divide, from friends after college. Of course, with Gmail, one can keep everything, and I keep way too much out of laziness. But all of these are from a day when writing someone took more effort, and first drafts were often the only drafts.
I often question whether I am too sentimental about such things. Maybe all of it should be chucked. Or maybe none of it should be chucked. Or maybe those notes to my sweetheart should be kept, but the others should go the way of my decades-old tax records. (Actually, come to think of it I still have those. I’ll try to think of another example as I warm up the shredder…)
So, let me turn it over to you: Do you hold on to your old correspondence? That is, your non-email correspondence? If so, do you keep it all? Do you keep some? Is there a date when it becomes “old enough” to throw away? Do you keep only special letters, or is it a matter of keeping letters from special someones, whether significant in content or not?
Let me know, below, if you’re in the mood. It’s a lot faster than writing me a letter. 🙂