I moved from Brazil to the US about a year and a half ago, and I was relieved when my 95-year-old grandmother learned to use WhatsApp. We were always profoundly connected, and I thought that the new tool would keep us engaged despite the distance.
One day, my uncle told me: “you should write her a letter”.
“A real letter?” – I asked – “Like sending-through-the-post-
That was precisely his idea. It made a lot of sense. She had notes I’ve written to her hung with adhesive tape all over her bedroom’s wall, so she would probably appreciate tangible letters.
When I sent Nana that first letter, she was thrilled. She spent some time writing me a letter and when she was finally ready to post it, COVID happened, and Brazil went on lockdown. In Brazil we don’t have post office boxes like here in the US, so there was no other way for her to post my letter, at least for a while.
I guess her frustration made her creativity flourish because one day I received an audio message from her “Hello Princess… I was thinking about taking a picture of my letter and sending it to you”.
And – of course – I agreed with the picture-of-a-letter thing despite its obvious incoherence. If we were going to see it on the cell phone, why not just type? I could imagine her wrinkled fingers expanding the image as her eyes squeeze to read the letter in such an unreasonable way.
And that was interesting, because it was hard for me to picture before the letters, but my grandmother was also a mother. And a daughter. And a student of a school that taught good manners for ladies – something like “how to be a good wife”. Regarding that, she was the wife of an army pilot, and she was almost a widow many years before she became an actual widow, as during world war II my grandfather’s plane was attacked even though he was not on the front.
She told me about other happy moments, people she admired, and also about the downers and how much she misses my grandfather.
As I collected all that information, I thought how much they were worth writing about. I wondered if I was ever going to exchange vintage emulated messages with my granddaughter. And what stories will I tell? I better start living some good ones.
p.s.: When I sent this text to my e-mail list, I got the following amazing story. I thought it was worth sharing:
“I just wanted to share with you how I met my husband.
I LOVE THIS STORY! Do you have any amazing story to share? Insert on the comments!
p.p.s.: I’ve had a small article published at Entity Magazine, just a collection of quotes, but it would mean the world to me for you to comment there and support me! https://www.entitymag.com/