My dad recently unearthed a letter that I had written to him many, many years ago.
There was a time when my dad had to work abroad for about a year. He was in the U.S., working and getting everything ready for the rest us to move over, while we went about our normal routine as best as we could without him. There was no Facebook, no Skype, no email. Long distance phone calls were expensive, so they were a rare occurence. Good old fashioned letters was the main mode of communication to maintain family bonds.
When my dad showed me this letter a few weeks ago, I was amazed. It was written in Tagalog (national language of the Philippines). But today, I could barely read it all the way through.
Though I was fluent in both Tagalog and English at the time, when we moved to the U.S., the school my parents enrolled me in wanted to place me a grade level lower in case I had a hard time keeping up. Of course, this enraged my parents, and in an effort to keep us from accidentally speaking in Tagalog at school, they told us to only speak in English, even at home. Because I was so young, I eventually lost the fluency, though I could still understand the language.
But the letter had other hidden treasures. In it, I recount the places we visited, relatives that we saw, and what we had to do to get ready for our move to the U.S., mainly getting our house rented out and staying with my grandparents temporarily until our departure. There was a bit of family history in that short letter that I was able to share with my kids.
It turns out my dad saved this and countless other letters and pictures from me and my other siblings. My dad is definitely the sentimental type, and he would find it very hard to part with these.
Now that I’m a parent too, I appreciate these simple tokens of love and have created a “treasure chest” of pictures and notes from my own children that I hope to share with them when they’re all grown up.
Do you like to save handmade gifts and notes from your children? What are some of your treasures?