When Shani Silver pulled a box of letter off a shelf in her grandmother's home, her grandmother immediately smiled and jokingly said, “You can have them when I’m dead.”
When her grandmother did pass, Shani poured over the letters which revealed the pre-marriage courtship of her grandmother and grandfather.
"They really wrote to each other every day. You can see it in the postmarks. Sometimes they wrote to each other twice a day. The letters weren’t anything scandalous, in fact, having read them I’m really surprised Grama wouldn’t let me read them back then. They talked mostly about nothing."
There was no FaceTime, long-distance phone calls were expensive. Instagram didn’t provide a window into their lives, they literally never saw what the other one was eating for dinner.
Knowing how excited we can feel when getting come text messages, imagine how one would feel getting a love letter. Of course we can guess, because then her grandmother saved it for 50 years.
Sometimes we make fun of the text-based relationships we have now. A full argument accomplished via text will be criticized as one that should have taken place in person. As if we shouldn’t be connecting ourselves to other people through words. The letters make me think just the opposite. A relationship can be strengthened by words. You can accomplish things together without being in the same room. Plans can be made, love expressed. But I guess it really comes down to your idea of romance.
If my grandparents were writing each other letters every day during their courtship, that means that at some point every day, they were thinking about each other. That they were physically doing something designed solely to please the other person, to make the other person happy during mail call.
I think romance is determined by its weight in thought and effort and text messages weigh nothing at all. All we have to do is remember to charge our phones.
“I will hug and kiss you all to pieces my dear when we’re together. All to pieces.” — a letter written to Doris Silver, by Harry Kahn, on June 30, 1949.
Seven months before they were married and 33 years to the day before the birth of their granddaughter, Shani.
Read Shani's whole story HERE!