Tag Archives: emotion

Are Letters Becoming a Lost Art?

Letters – Scribble Picnic

There are so many stories about letters that I couldn’t decide at first. After mulling this around I decided on the emotional ones.


My Dad and Mom met in 1945 on a blind date in November. By the end of December they were engaged and married in April 1946. My Dad, born in 1910 and my Mom, born in 1917 were the perfect match. I never saw a real argument between them all the time I grew up. My Mom might have what we called “snits” but no cross words were ever heard. It was idyllic.

When they had been married less than two years my Dad had to go away on a business trip. This wasn’t any business trip. He had to fly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Back then flying that far took quite awhile. No cell phones. He couldn’t even make a phone call from New York.

All communication was by mail. Airmail. Thin letters so it wouldn’t cost too much. On one of the envelopes I saw CR $3.80. (no idea how much that was but I bet it was expensive). He was away for 3 months, from February 29, until May 30, 1948 (that was his last letter and I think it took him almost a week to get home).

lettersI have read through all the letters and made copies for my sister and my 3 kids.

I saw a different side of my Dad while reading these letters.

You could really tell he loved my Mom. I wish I had her letters to him as he answers some of her questions but it is hard to tell exactly what she was asking.

Two months after returning home I was conceived (from counting back from my birth) and when my Mom was 5 months pregnant both Mom and Dad went off to Brazil together. I am sure she enjoyed this a lot more than waiting for my Dad to come home.

Mom would never show us the letters while she was alive.

I knew where they were but I respected her privacy. I do wish she had let us read them so we could have asked all those questions.

My Dad died in 1993 and my Mom lived as a widow for 19 years saying that he was the only man for her. She died in 2012. My sister and I miss them both.

I am so grateful to have these letters and other correspondence as it seems to bring me closer to them, remembering how sweet they were to each other. Okay so this got my tearing up. Time to wrap up so I can finish this post.

You have seen the first sketch. This is the watercolour pencil final.


Here is the sketch with pencil crayons and the original letters so you can see the size of paper I am using . It is in a 9 x 6 Sketch Diary with weight of 94g/m2. It’s fine for watercolour pencils but not for watercolour paints.


Don’t you love the ribbon around them. That’s about 1/2 the letters. And I can tell they have been read many times over the years.

I might now start back into reading the correspondence that my Dad had with his Mom during the war years. My father was a captain in the Canadian artillery. He also wrote some stories of what happened during that time. Thank goodness I can read his writing.

Because yesterday was D-Day and my Dad landed on Juno Beach in the First Wave in 1945, I am finding these memories powerful and emotional. Every year, he always went to Guelph, Ontario, to meet up with his buddies from that time.

Is letter writing becoming a lost art? (tweet this)

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How Can I Learn from My Dad?

A Dad’s Example

by T.L. Wiens

My dad was an emotional man. In the Mennonite community, this is not good. Years of ridicule from family and friends pushed him into a very private place with his prayer life. I never saw my dad pray and he wouldn’t read the Bible aloud in public. He left that to my mom while he sat in a corner hiding his tears.

Then my dad had a heart attack. We didn’t think he’d make it but he pulled through. When he got home, his entire world revolved around his love for Jesus. I remember approaching him and asking if we could pray together. For the first time, he said yes.

Dad and I prayed through the tears that day. The ridicule endured over a man’s role in the Mennonite tradition no longer mattered.

My dad and I prayed together often after that. I inherited his tearful petition style but I am so glad he freed me from feeling shame over it. I miss sharing a prayer with him but know he’s talking to Jesus face to face now.

Tammy Wiens

Tammy lives in Saskatchewan with her husband. They have four children. She enjoys gardening, walks along the beach and being on the farm. She has a passion for her faith, studying the Bible and prayer.

She has published two books; Where a Little Rain Comes Down and Making the Bitter Sweet. A short story, “May’s First Christmas” appeared in Christmas Chaos, a collection of stories about Christmas experiences that don’t make the fronts of Christmas cards. “Careful What You Whisper” is another short story about Tammy’s experiences after breaking her back. It can be found in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Visit T. L. Wiens for more information about Tammy’s books and workshops.