By Judy Berman
Letters. Such an old-fashioned way to keep in touch. But so lovely to look back on.
How much is lost because letter-writing has been replaced by texting?
Those cryptic little words on an iPhone could never provide the warm feeling you experience when you hold a letter addressed to you.
When I saw a letter from my Mom in the mailbox, I couldn’t wait to get inside, rip open the envelope and savor the contents while sipping a hot cup of tea.
She’d send cartoons, articles from the newspaper, dreams she had, and her hopes for my family and me.
She also included recipes for comfort food that I missed: tacos, chicken and rice soup, meatloaf, and golabki (pigs in the blanket aka Polish stuffed cabbage).
The stack of her letters spans more than 30 years. In one, she wrote about the birth of my second child – still months away. Mom said she was holding my baby who was trying to stand.
A little ambitious. I chuckled at the thought. The child, in her dream, was only 3 days old. A boy with reddish-blond hair.
Turns out, our second child was a towheaded girl. It was fun to read about and know how much Mom looked forward to seeing our little one.
Some Moms may crave fancy jewelry, exotic trips and pricey gifts. Not mine. One year (in August) I sent her a package filled with something I knew she’d been hungering for – Beefsteak Tomatoes.
I wish I could have been there when Mom opened the box. She was ecstatic.
“You know how much I like tomatoes, and you know what a pale imitation I have been eating since we came out here (Nevada). (The ones you sent) are going fast and everyone is enjoying them,” Mom wrote me.
Even though I was grown and on my own, she’d prescribe a huge dose of Momisms:: “Take care of yourself, and for the love of heaven watch yourself on those icy streets. Walking will do you a world of good, but falling won’t.”
As I read her letters, I’d smile over some memory that surfaced from just a few lines.
I reminded her of the time she did battle with one of my teachers. Mom objected to how the 7th-grade history teacher disputed what I’d written in an essay. This was Mom’s favorite subject, and she knew what I wrote was on solid ground.
Mom responded that wasn’t the first time. When I was about 9, she went to the school district to defend my right to beat up a bully who was twice my size.
“His mother said her son was a bleeder. I told her to teach her son to keep his hands off little girls who only come up to his belt. I assured her that I did not permit you to beat up little gentlemen,” Mom wrote me.
“The principal later told me he did himself a serious injury over that line,” Mom quipped.
I will never forget that bully. But I truly do not remember beating him up.
My regret? I wish I was still able to write to Mom today. I miss our phone calls, her letters, and most of all, I miss her.
Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms. Give yours an extra hug from me.
Quotes about Mothers from the Quote Garden http://www.quotegarden.com/mothers.html
A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. Tenneva Jordan
Sweater, noun: garment worn by a child when its mother is feeling chilly. Ambrose Bierce
When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-15. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Main photo: Mom (Milly Fiet) and me at the park – It was a long day. I’m tuckered out, and, I’ll bet Mom is, too.
Photo: Letters from Mom over the years
Photo: Beefsteak tomatoes – Taken April 30, 2013, by Lufa Farms (Montreal neighborhood of Ahuntsic-Cartierville). http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cc/Lufa_Farms_Beefsteak_Tomato.jpg/640px-Lufa_Farms_Beefsteak_Tomato.jpg