Letter writing is a dying art form in our society. What better time to resurrect it than Mother’s Day, when we can sit down and write a letter to our moms? If like mine your mother has passed on beyond the reach of the U.S. Postal Service, you can still write her a letter addressed to heaven and reap the benefits of feeling connected to her once again.
For most of my adult life I lived far away from my mother, either out of the country or on opposite sides of it. So Mom would faithfully write me letters telling me of all the everyday happenings in our hometown. She’d include an overview of the weather, how the garden was coming in, what my sisters and their families had been up to, any major improvements in the area—just any tidbit of news that would draw me closer to the place and people I loved and left. Almost always she would close with, “Well, I’d better finish up to beat the postman.”
I wrote her letters in reply, telling her news of the faraway places I lived and keeping her up to date on travel adventures and the “growing up” antics of my two sons. In short, we were pen pals as well as mother and daughter, and both of us were blessed by the letters that connected our lives and hearts.
It’s time to find some pretty stationery and write our moms again. But how can we make a letter to mom meaningful, whether she will read it or we’ll just deliver it in our hearts? One idea is to use the letters written by the Apostle Paul as our template.
Even though Paul sometimes wrote his letters from prison to churches he had visited, those in cities like Philippi, Corinth or Thessalonica eagerly awaited and shared the missives he sent. Why? Because Paul would most often begin with a warm greeting, add an expression of gratitude, offer a strong dose of encouragement (or admonition if needed), promote reconciliation and close with a message of hope.
Students of the Bible pour over the epistles of Paul for all the instruction on living the Christian life still relevant today. Though we may not want to include all of Paul’s elements in letters to our moms, they are a great place to start. For instance, we could say something like I thank my God every time I remember you (Philippians 1:3). We could remind her that we love her and that love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:7). Or bless her by closing like Paul often did: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you (1 Thessalonians 5:28).
Because of God’s love moving in us we should all be able to address our mothers warmly and with respect despite any lingering relationship issues, express our gratitude to them, share some happy memories, and encourage them to keep the faith. Such a letter will be a treasured gift for a mom still with you, or a joyful remembrance of a mom loved and lost.
(First published in Pikes Peak Senior News.)
Rolle Walker says
This a beautiful word, Nancy. Pen to paper has texture and smell. The effort conveys our hearts and minds through our hands. I learned recently cursive is no longer taught in schools. This is disheartening. Your words rekindle my desire to write, buy stamps, lick ‘em and mail ‘em! Thank you!
Thanks, Rolle–and you’ve written many meaningful epistles to Jim over the years of your friendship!! I agree with you about cursive. Think of the poor unemployed handwriting analysts for one thing!!
Judy M. Pressley says
Thank you, it will be nice putting on paper thinks that I say to Mom/Geneva every day. Mom passed on Mother’s Day weekend, 2000.
As I read your post, I have such sweet memories of Mrs. Parker. Her beautiful self, plus her hair that I loved to look and try to figure how to do it. Her sweet voice.
We are truly blessed girls, the era that we grow up, the area, and the wonderful families and friends.
May I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day with tons of love and marvelous memories.
You are so right, Judy. I remember your mom fondly, too! We were and are blessed! Thanks for writing.
Elizabeth H. Van Liere says
My Mom left years ago and we wrote each other. Do I get letters from my kids and grandkids in other places? Nope. Phone calls from my sons instead and once in awhile (a big while) a card from one of the grands. (They make me feel loved)… However, I do get letters from a few of my great-grandkids and they are treasures. And yes, they print their letters. Do I have to print mine back? They probably won’t be able to read any cursive writing I do. Oh, dear.
Thanks for your thoughtful words again, Nancy.
Sadly you are right, Betty. One of my grandsons asked me to please print because he doesn’t know how to read cursive–much less write it! The thing is, my printing still looks more like cursive! Hugs to you.
Phyllis Murphy says
My friend Nancy. You hit the nail right on the head with every blog you write. Thankfully I have not given up the art of letter writing and most of the time my thoughts of my most wonderful mom are sent to heaven. I carry her around in my head and heart, singing praises to God that she finally met her Lord and Savior in her late eighties. Many thanks again for putting your words on paper for all of us to enjoy.
Happy Mother’s Day, Phyllis!! Cyndy told me that one photo in the slide show was you with your mom. How precious! Warm hugs to you on this chilly day. Thanks for your encouragement, as always!
Pam Cosel says
Very nice, well done. Mine has been dead for 29 years, almost 30, this summer. As my own daughter is about to become a mother for the first time, I stand in the middle soon of five generations of women whom I’ve known: my grandmother, my mother, my daughter and her soon-to-be baby. Life goes fast. Yes, LOVE is the most important thing among relatives / parents / children. Thank you for sharing this story. Happy Mother’s Day to you, as well.
Thank you, Pam–and enjoy being a grandmother!!
Pat Scott says
You always say just the right thing. I found this poem by Rupi Kaur for our church bulletin today. I think you will appreciate it as I did!
I struggle so deeply
how someone can
pour their entire soul
blood and energy
I will have to wait till I’m a mother
That is wonderful, Pat. Thanks for sharing it!
Peggy Lovelace Ellis says
Thanks, Nancy, for the memories. An angel came for my Mom in 1994, ending our 57 years of weekly letters mixed in with visits and phone calls. The one birthday/Christmas/anytime gift she enjoyed the most, and received the most from her eight “kids” was the largest boxes of stationery each of us could find and rolls of stamps. We might forget details of phone calls and visits, but a letter can be re-read and appreciated time and time again.
You are so right, Peggy. I’m hoping the generations that follow ours will rediscover letter writing some day!!
Beth Lueders says
Wonderfully practical suggestions on how to connect with our mothers, Nancy. I used to love my letters from my mom and you’ve given me ideas on how I can still write her. Bless you!
You’re so welcome, Beth! Hugs to you and your fur babies.
alice scott-ferguson says
…and you, beautiful and faithful friend, exemplify this art of communication, support and encouragement! In all the years I have had the pleasure of being connected to, and with, you, that is who you are! My Treasure Boxes hold stacks of letters from my grandmothers, mother, father and aunts…even one from an uncle. All whose voices are now silent and pens long ago put down; yet they live on in their letters.