Mom’s Last Letter and Lost Art of Letter Writing

Last night I was inspired to write a letter.

It was after I read an older book on my shelf, written back in 1971, The Hidden Art of Homemaking.

Yes, the book’s outdated a bit, but Mrs. Schaeffer’s love for “art” and the art found in the ordinary areas of everyday life, is inspiring. Edith Schaeffer’s writings have had a positive influence on Christian women, as she writes about how we all have hidden talents, unfulfilled talents, just waiting to be expressed and developed.

Which made me think of words … speaking and writing them.

I always had a love for words and writing, but I didn’t feel very skilled with them. When I discovered blogging, I learned to be creative with my words regarding hospitality.

I do love to share my heart with others when it comes to the subject of hospitality. I want to help others. Which, by the way, I always wonder if my mom really knew that my name means “Helper.” :)

One of the ways that we can help or encourage others in life is by the words that we choose to use. And we never know what our last words will be, either.

The other day I found the last letter that my mother wrote to me. I keep it in a safe place and read it often. My mom was an avid letter-writer, card-sender. That was her way of encouraging others.

Dear Little Coughlin Family,

I am getting homesick for all of you. Good thing I have pictures or does this make it worse?

She went to tell us what she and my dad were doing, how much things cost, the friends they were seeing, the places they were traveling to …

We miss all of you. Not sure when we will head home … Love, Mom and Dad

Today things are so different. We text, call, send pictures through email but we do little letter writing.

I’m thankful for the gift of my mom’s last letter. I love seeing her handwriting; it reminds me of when I was young. I love that she was homesick for our family. I love feeling her heart …

Writing is an art that I hate to say is diminishing quickly, especially writing letters. And paper notes can also reflect a hospitable spirit …

Do you think writing letters or cards is important, and when is the last time you practiced the art?

38 comments on “Mom’s Last Letter and Lost Art of Letter Writing”

  1. Myself and six other girlfriends, from our college days, write letters to one another throughout the year. We call it a “circle letter”. It works like this: I write a letter to them and place it in a large envelope, then address it to one of them, and mail it. The person receiving the letter, reads my letter, writes her own and places it in the envelope with my letter and mails it to the next girl. And on it goes until it comes full circle, back to me.

    We’ve been doing this for several years now. We all love it! Often, the news is old news by the time it arrives, but every time I find the bulging envelope in my mailbox, I grab a cup of coffee, find a cozy place to curl up and read the precious words from my wonderful friends. Oh! And I always needs tissues, because I cry. Every. Time!

  2. Pingback: Thankful for the Gifts of 2012 - Recap | Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  3. great concept
    hope i can use it soon


  4. Wow!! lovely letter and Something new here & sounds interesting Let me check it out…:)
    Handwriting Analysis

  5. I have been re reading letters my mother had written to me while she was alive and I really cherish them. I am able to see how she encouraged me and kept me up to date about her life. I have four children of my own and although we all live quite close I have begun to write letters to them rather than emails and texts. I value the letters my mother wrote as they bring back happy memories. Although I like being able to keep in touch with email and facebook etc I miss the art of letter writing, something I am working on changing.

  6. I am so glad to see a reference to my favorite book…The Hidden Art of Homemaking…I think the principles of Edith Schaeffer are timeless..this little book has inspired my life. :-) and as for letter writing, I treasure the letters I have from my grandmother and my mother..even the love letters written at the turn of the century between my grandparents..yes, I NEED to go write some letters.
    thanks for a great post,

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  8. Letter-writing is a lost art, and this post is a great reminder of how meaningful personal letters can be. I recently sent letters to my kids (both in college), and addressed some hard issues we’d been discussing. It seemed easier to pen them than to say them face-to-face.
    Thanks, Sandy!

  9. What a special gift. My grandma wrote letters to me often on college & when I am really missing her I pull those out & touch them and read them. I need to get better about this!

  10. I have always been a letter writer and in more recent years, a maker of homemade cards. I’ve always considered it a ministry of encouragement. My sister, mom and dad, have all passed away in the last 10 years and I wish I had saved more of the cards I was given through the years. I also appreciate my blogging because I often write about my love and appreciation for my children. Love your blog and your heart!

  11. Pingback: Mom's Last Letter and Lost Art of Letter Writing | Living better at 50+| Online Womens Magazine

  12. This is a beautiful post, Sandy and it brought tears to my eyes. There is something so special and personal about someone’s handwriting especially those we love. I have poems that my dad wrote for me on scraps and bits of paper but they are in his chicken scratch writing. (And I mean that literally!) They are so precious. Letter writing is definitely a lost art that I want to make time for in my life. Thanks for the encouragement.

  13. I keep reading the comments and see how much letters or just a note mean to us all. maybe we need to up our letter writing to affect change in others.
    I also think since phone calls were less frequent, were more special. The numerous texts and all the phone tag games that get played seem like more of an intrusion and less of a treat.

    I have seen hand written notes on the back of photos, gift tags, recipes, and cards or letters. They all make me feel like I am with the writer, at that moment in time.

    Thanks for raising our consciousness.

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