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A Life Lesson From My Grandmother About Sending Letters

Updated on January 18, 2011

It was some time in the early 1970s in a little East Texas town of Burke, and I lived on a little farm in the summers with my Mema (pronounced Meemaaw). I loved the hot days, playing around the farm house, and helping my grandmother shell black eyed and purple hull peas while she watched her stories on TV. She was a workaholic, but there wasn't a name for it back then, and she started every Monday through Saturday in her one acre vegetable garden. From sun up until about eleven in the morning she toiled away at tending bushels of corn, new potatoes, peppers, and of course all of those different types of peas.

Lessons From Mema On The Front Porch

She would relax on the front porch for a little while before starting the rest of her day as an Avon lady. While sitting in her rocker, and sipping her iced water, and smoking her Belaire cigarettes, she would chat with me and every now and again a little bit of wisdom would slip from mouth in her country accent. One day I was particularly upset that there had been no mail from my mother in weeks, and for some reason it really upset me to the point of crying uncontrollably while walking back to the house from the mailbox by the oil topped road.

Mema asked why I was crying like a girl, and I replied that Mom had not sent a letter or card in a long time. In short, she would give me a piece of advice that would serve me well the rest of my life. She told me "Grandson, if you want a letter you have to send a letter". It didn't sink into my second grader's mind at first, but eventually it would bloom into a mantra that stuck like glue between my ears, and in my heart.

Front Porch Lessons In Life

You have to send letters to receive letters
You have to send letters to receive letters

Getting Requires Sending - No Matter What

It really applies to everything in life if you think about it for a few moment.

  • If you want love - send love
  • If you want attention - give attention
  • If you want to stay sober - help others stay sober
  • If you want money - help others make money
  • If you want help - offer help first
  • If you want God's help - offer yourself to God first
  • If you want to be fed then feed others first
  • If you want a miracle - then give a miracle by helping someone without expecting anything in return.

Action Is The Key To Life - Intentions Are Just Thoughts

Action is the key, as best wishes, intentions, and thoughts stay inside you. While your actions are seen by the world, and will be returned in kind. They may not come when you want them, or how you want whatever it is that you want, but it will be given.

Forty years later, her voice still resonates in my ears from that day on her front porch. Actually she wasn't always the most pleasant person in the world to be around, but she had her moments like this one. She passed the day after Hurricane Ike hit Texas in 2008 at 94 years of age. Sadly she did not follow her own advice, as only four people showed up at her funeral.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What fabulous honesty. So glad you retained that bit of advice and shared it in this post.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      8 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Lovely pieces of advice. As for the empty mailbox, one postman long ago had his own version after mine had been empty for several days when snail mail was the ONLY mail: "Ma'am, if they don't send 'em, I can't bring 'em."

      Great hub! ;D

    • JonSterling profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Sterling 

      9 years ago from Houston Texas - United States

      Not unless you are my Mema, and have come back to this rock for another round of life! :D

    • onegoodwoman profile image


      9 years ago from A small southern town

      Grandmothers, diarys, memories, front porches,rocking chairs, life lessons......have YOU been reading my diary?


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