Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I think my husband and I have become officially "old" people. The reason I say that is it that every day it seems we are saying "remember when". Whether it is something my son used to do as a child, what we did in college or as children we are bringing up the past. Yesterday I was telling someone how in college we used to go "Trick or Drinking" on Halloween. That was certainly a long time ago!

But, at least I can still remember a lot of these things -- recent things, not so much.

One thing I enjoy doing every year that hopefully will bring back memories for my son, is my annual letter I write to him. Every year on his birthday (his birthday was a few weeks ago) I write him a letter. I started this on the day that he was born. For some reason in the hospital I this desire to write him a letter to let him know what I was feeling that day. I don't know why but the urge was so strong I just had to do it. I wasn't sure at the time what I was going to do with the letter but I wrote it and tucked it away in my things when I went home from the hospital. A few weeks after he was born I found it and re-read. I sealed it in an envelope and thought I would put it in his baby book.

On his first birthday the thought occured to me to write him another letter, so I did. I sealed this one up and put it with the other one. Then I realized that this would become my tradition, each year I would write my son a letter on his birthday. My thought at the time was that when he turned 21 I would give them all to him.

Each year, I look forward to writing that letter come October. I write things down over the year that I want to include in it, gather some photos from the year and any newspaper clippings or whatever I might want to include. They don't always make it to the final letter but I enjoy collecting these items as the year goes on. When he was smaller, I used to write all of his milestones down and tell him what I thought his future would hold for him. This experience is really an emotional one for me because I usually pour my heart out and tell it like it is. As he has gotten older, I chronicle his accomplishments -- but of course he will remember those on his own, but I want him to know how he makes me feel.

Since my Alzheimer's diagnosis these letters have become much more important to me. Although I started scrapbooking after my diagnosis to help me remember as well as share what I could with my family through photos, these letters will hopefully mean much more to my son later on.

He's 23 now and there are 22 letters waiting for him. I skipped a year and there is a reason but I won't go into that. Obviously, I didn't give the letters to my son when he was 21. I'm not sure when he will get them -- my first thought is upon my death. But when my disease gets to the stage where I can no longer remember him, perhaps that will be the time he can read them -- while I'm still with him, but not at the same time.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

What a treasure you have to give to your son when you feel the time is right! I kept a journal through my son's infancy and child-hood. When he turned 21 I couldn't bear to part with it as it contained much of our family history. So I typed it into my computer and printed and bound a copy for my husband and myself before giving the handwritten original to my son. I don't know what it means to him (or will mean to him as his life goes on) but I know it is precious to me and I'm glad I wrote it. I hope you're happy to have written your letters, too.