The Things We Cherish

Since my Nanny (grandmom) had a stroke in October 2011, she has lived in a care home and has not been able to walk or write. I cannot easily phone her for a chat and miss knowing that I can reach her. The communication I miss the most, however, is her letters. Some time when I was at university, we started writing regular letters to one another and continued this through my time in Mexico, Scotland (the first time), the USA, and then finally Scotland again.

When we visited the States last year, she showed me the letters that I had written her and I was glad that I had continued my letters. It has taken time over the past year and a half to get used to writing letters in which I can only ask rhetorical questions or share one sided information and I have really missed hearing her voice arrive through the mail each week. I have missed her side of the conversation more than I can express.

Coming in from work today, I stepped over the last thing I expected: a letter from Nanny. I cherished reading that letter more than any other letter I have ever received.



  1. My Granny and I had an inconsistent letter writing communication that started after I moved to Scotland. Her health starting going downhill about this time last year and I missed getting letters (but was also busy with baby and thus not sending many either). She died in December and I still find myself thinking of writing to her.

    • Hi Azterya,

      Thank you for sharing that. I am sorry to hear that she passed away and I hope that you are beginning to heal from that loss. If you often find yourself thinking of writing her a letter, why not do it? Maybe those thoughts and feelings need to be sent out into the world.

      How long have you lived in Scotland? I’ll be 8 years next month…somehow the numbers racked up. Stirling is a hard place to leave!

      • We’ll have been here 4 years in August. Husband mutters about leaving his job on a semi regular basis but then things change and we settle back down again.

        I think I might end up writing to my Aunt instead. My Granny’s eyesight was very bad for the last few years and so she ended up reading a number of the letters to her anyway and wrote back on occasion when Granny wasn’t up to it.

  2. It’s amazing how long the tug tears at you at unexpected times.

    When I crossed my 6th year here, I would have thought it was turning 4, so those years certainly passed quickly.

    Writing to your aunt sounds like a lovely idea- I hope you enjoy opening that aspect of the relationship back up.

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