Tucked away in the pages of my late grandmother’s journal was a letter written to me 47 years ago. My sister found it yesterday and promptly sent me a copy of it via email. The letter was four pages long, and the paper had yellowed and it was stained a bit, but the beautiful cursive writing was still easy to read. My grandmother, nick-named Poni, was an excellent writer, and she expressed herself clearly, fluidly, and personably. I couldn’t wait to read the letter.
In it, Poni, who was born in 1899, told me a bit about her family history. Her father had to work as soon as he was physically able, and her parents had no formal education whatsoever. They depended on the Catholic church to teach them the fundamentals. My grandmother was the first in her family to graduate from high school, and she was understandably proud of the accomplishment. Encouraged by her English teacher, my grandmother wanted to be a journalist. However, her parents were against the idea. Her mother said, “’Uumph! That’s all you need – to stick your nose in all places where it doesn’t belong.’” Meanwhile, her father was proud that his daughters didn’t have to go to work. He was able to give them whatever advantages they required until they married. That meant piano lessons, and I’m not sure what else. Poni was disappointed, though. She had a gift for writing, and she would have loved to have shared that more publicly.
The letter went on to talk about other stories, all of which I loved. Poni was planning to visit my family the upcoming Christmas, and I’m sure I would have heard more then.
Of course, my grandmother passed away many years ago. This letter was a gem because it was so full of her personality and she spoke to me with love and warmth. I wish that I could talk with Poni again, especially now that I am older, but such is life. I’ll read some of her journal when my sister is done, and I’ll be glad for the stories Poni wrote and left behind.