The Treasure of a Hardcopy Letter

August 5, 2010

One of the cool things about doing this blog has been a renewed sense of family connection. I’ve exchanged emails, telephone calls and personal visits with beloved relatives, some whom I hadn’t talked to in years simply because we’ve been too busy living life.

(Hey, you know we can all share in this connection if everyone makes comments to the blog…just saying, is all.)

Another cool thing is people are giving me stuff—it’s like I’ve become the vault keeper of our family’s history. A while ago my brother Dave made a deposit into this vault when he mailed me a special gift.

Dave was cleaning out and ran across a letter written by our Great-Aunt Charlotte. Dated January 1983, she wrote it in tribute to George Larson at the time of his death (George, you’ll recall, was my grandmother Ruth’s husband and Charlotte was her sister).

The letter is special for several reasons. First, it offers insight to the man my grandfather was. George was a very quiet soul and I, like most young people, was not perceptive enough to know there was more to him than a gentle, smiling face.

Secondly, which is why I’m including it in our conversation of sisterhood, the letter totally shows the unique bond between Ruth and Charlotte. Even though 12 years and hundreds of miles were between them, the two were very intertwined in each other lives.

Here’s the letter. Note the correction in green—knowing my Aunt Charlotte, that typo must have been major cause for concern but poor health at the time likely prevented her from retyping the whole letter. I also like the formal “page two” heading. Most of all, I like the signature—one many of us knew so well and loved.

So very Aunt Charlotte.

Charlotte's letter, pg. 1
Charlotte's letter, pg.2


5 Responses to “The Treasure of a Hardcopy Letter”

  1. Terri Says:

    Dear Vault Keeper,
    I have a big deposit to make… the formal family picture taken in 1993 or so, with all the grandkids. It’s stashed in my little apartment closet. ;-)

  2. Lori Says:


    I have read that letter dozens of times and it always makes me cry. Charlotte may have had a lot of peculiarities but she certainly could write a letter. It is a lost art. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Rachel Says:

    Dear Di,
    After reading this letter for the first time, I had to step outside for air. I’ve read it again several times in order to enjoy Charlotte’s memories of Grandpa, and also to learn more about Charlotte herself and Grandma through her recollections. How simply and honestly she wrote. The emotion of her realization that Monday morning is evident in her “Who else but dear George” and “Oh, George…” I hope the writing of it was a comfort to her. Thank you for sharing. Rachel

  4. Rhonda Says:

    It almost seems odd that someone would write a letter like that in memory of a brother-in-law but it sounds like Charlotte was eternally grateful for the help she received from your grandparents and she never forgot their kindness. There is something to be said for that these days and it’s quite a testament to the generosity of them both.

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