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National Letter Writing Month: The letters we save

Do you have any letters tucked away in a special place? I don’t often think about the letters we save, but when I do, they bring up so many memories. I have an entire box of letters that my husband wrote to me in our early days. I have the circle journal that I wrote about last week. There is also one letter that I forgot about until last week. I keep it in my daughter’s baby book.

I remember getting this letter. Let me preface the story though. I have a little background that will help you understand the context.

When I was 20-something weeks pregnant with my first child, I was told I had to have a glucose test for gestational diabetes, as all pregnant women do. I feared this. I had a glucose test when I was in high school to figure out why I kept passing out. The sugary drink made me feel sick. The multiple blood draws left me week and sore. It was a six-hour needle fest that made me want to barf.

I didn’t want to go to my glucose test alone. I feared it would be the same. My husband had to work. My mom couldn’t take time off. My dad volunteered to come. Or, he may have been volunteered by my mom. It was a while ago and the details are fuzzy.

I felt horrible for him. First of all, he looks young and I was afraid people were silently judging us. Me for being some sort of gold-digger and him for being a cradle robber. Second, he had to sit at my OBs office for a few hours with me. After having a sugary drink. And no food. I’m sure that was not his idea of a pleasant way to spend the morning.

I had my blood drawn, drank the sugary drink and waited for my next draw an hour later. In the meantime, I had an appointment with my OB’s nurse practitioner. I invited my dad to come in. Now before you get all, “Gasp! How could she do that!” it wasn’t one of the no-pants appointments. It was just a routine listen of the heartbeat, ask me if there are any concerns, schedule me for next month appointment. So, my dad got to listen to the heartbeat, and meet this crazy, whack job of a nurse practitioner who I didn’t like.

It's National Letter Writing Month, which prompted me to look at letters I have saved, including this one to my daughter. It was written before she was even born.
It’s National Letter Writing Month, which prompted me to look at letters I have saved, including this one to my daughter. It was written before she was even born.

Side note: My dad confirmed she was crazy. And a whack job. I wasn’t imagining it.

All went fine. There was no passing out. No sugar shakes. It wasn’t horrible. Which was helpful for future pregnancies. I didn’t make my dad go to anymore glucose tests.

But he did buy me breakfast afterward.

So a few weeks later, I checked the mail and there was a card in it addressed to Baby T, which is what we called our gender-unknown fetus. It had no return address label and the writing was something I definitely didn’t recognize.

I opened it and it was a poem. At first I was confused…who would write this?

You spoke

And they were words of love.

I’m sure I was beaming.

Your mother was.

Sweet sounds–like a child singing

“Jesus loves me…”

Love sounds

Sung from your heart

to mine

160 syllables per minute

Love, Grandpa W.

At first I could not figure out when my only-living grandpa would send a card like this to my baby. How did he know my baby’s heart rate and WHEN IN THE WORLD DID HE START WRITING POETRY.

Then the pregnancy brain cleared.

My dad wrote this.

My dad has never written anything like this to me before. But according to my mom, he wrote her lots of poetry in their early days together. (Hidden dad talent, like holding his breath for an insane amount of time and repairing just about anything with c clamps and glue.)

This is a letter you save.

The other night when I got it out to refresh my memory as to what it said, my daughter saw it. I read it to her and told her that it was a letter from Grandpa to her before she was even born. She beamed, much like he did that day.

Then she and her sister spent the better part of an hour looking through their first-year photo albums. They asked about their baby sister’s, but in typical third-child-fashion, her’s is…a work in progress. We talked about how excited everyone was to meet them and how much they were loved even before they were born. We talked about coming up with their names and how much they look like their dad, or me, or their cousins.

It amazing how much love was wrapped up in those books. And it started with that letter.

A letter I will save forever.

So what about you? Do you have any letters that you have saved? What makes them so meaningful?