Pen Pal Friendships
(Page 7 of 14)
Many Common Interests
I’ve had a total of four pen pals through the years.
A Sunday school paper is where I found my first pen pal. She was 11 years old and lived in Maine. I was 12 and lived in Colorado. We wrote to each other about school, books and movies, and other things young girls enjoyed back then.
When we got into high school, we didn’t write as often, but we still kept in touch. After we had both married, she and her husband surprised my husband and me when they stopped at our home while on vacation. We kept in touch for some time after their visit, but eventually lost touch with one another.
In 1992, after my mother’s death, I inherited Mother’s pen pal, who lives in England. Although we don’t write each other often, we do exchange birthday and Christmas letters each year, and it’s always nice to hear from her.
My dearest pen pal and I wrote to one another for more than 40 years. We met through a poem I had published in a magazine. She contacted me, and since she, too, wrote poetry, we became pen pals, and our letters became discussions of our poetry.
We lived 60 miles apart, so we visited each other’s homes from time to time, and we discovered we had more in common than just writing poetry. We are both the oldest child and only girl in our families, with four brothers. We both taught in a country school, and we have children who share a birthday.
This dear friend now lives in a nursing home. She has memory problems, but she always knows me when I call. She is no longer able to write letters, and I miss corresponding with her. However, at least I’m still able to talk to her on the phone.
About a year ago, history repeated itself, but in reverse. I read a poem in a magazine and recognized the author as someone I’d met in a writing group I’d attended nearly 20 years before. I made contact this time, and we have since become pen pals and enjoy critiquing each other’s poetry. We write at least once a month.
Through the years, I can honestly say that whenever I’ve found – and still find – a letter in my mailbox from a pen pal, it lifts my mood and makes for a very happy day. And I can’t wait to read it.
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