A Legacy of Letters

The following post is from Jennifer, a lifelong educator:

source: Jennifer

I wish I knew more about my grandparents and great-grandparents.  Life was so different for them.  What did they cherish?  What were their greatest joys and struggles?  If I could glean from their wisdom and experience, what could I learn?

I’ve resolved to not let my experiences be lost.

I have chosen to share them through a series of annual letters.  A few weeks before each grandchild’s birthday, I begin to think about this year’s letter.

When I talk, my thoughts don’t always come out exactly the way I want them to.  But when I write, I have the time to choose just the right word to communicate my heart in the matter.  I can rearrange the sentences so that my words paint a picture.   And hopefully, my letters will be saved and reread over the years, as our grandkids grow and enter new seasons of life.

Each child is different, so as I begin I try to imagine what questions they might have in the future.  My letters also give me the chance to impart my values, to affirm each child, and to put into writing how much I love them.

Ideas for writing to your children or grandchildren:

  • Where you grew up
  • What your early school years were like
  • The biggest mistake you made as a kid and what you learned from it
  • Your favorite things to do as a child
  • Your favorite family traditions
  • What you remember most about high school
  • How you decided on your career
  • What you remember about your grandparents
  • The most interesting places you’ve ever visited
  • The most interesting people you’ve ever met
  • The values that are most important to you
  • Your favorite Bible verses
  • How you met your husband
  • How you picked your child’s name
  • What you remember about the day they were born
  • The character qualities that you see blossoming in your child
  • Your hopes for your child’s future

I wish I had started this tradition with my own kids.  But, I’m thankful that I’ll leave a legacy of letters for my grandchildren.

If you had a day to spend with your ancestors, what would you want to ask them?  Do you think your children and grandchildren will wonder the same things about you?

Jennifer is passionate about children and education. She homeschooled her two sons for five years, established and directed a Christian school in Maryland for 20 years, and currently teaches in a public school in a Chicago suburb. She loves investing in relationships and delights in every moment that she spends with her family.