I was speaking to my Nan a few weeks back and she mentioned some old love letters she had from my Da when they were dating. I was mesmerised by the though - love letters! So romantic and special! I want to read them!
I thought about my Da as I remember him from my childhood. Strong and quiet, sitting in his favourite chair with his feet on the coffee table. I remember him as a true gentleman. I remember him being so tall he could touch the ceiling. I remember his love of chocolate (the gene obviously runs strong!)
I asked my Nan where the letters are now and if she still looks at them?
"No" she promptly replied, "I've gotten rid of them, they were just for us."
My jaw dropped and any hopes of reading my grandparents love letters to the girls in years to come slowly dissipated.
I wanted to question her decision, I wanted to ask her what they said, I wanted to know why and how she could possibly get rid of something so special? But as I thought about it, let the concept settle in my mind, I realised that her act of reading them for one last time before saying goodbye to them was the most romantic gesture I'd heard of in my life.
Those words were just for them.
A special memory for her and complete respect for his privacy in that act.
It got me thinking, as I do sometimes when I'm not surrounded by small humans wanting milk and attention, about the desire we all seem to have to not only shove our noses in other peoples business and love life (hello, trashy magazines!) but also our strange compulsion to share publicly some pretty intimate and special words about those we care for.
But where is the line? Where do we find balance?
I love to show gratitude. When I'm having a loving thought about a friend, someone who's helped me, my parents and Hugh, I like to tell them. Admittedly, sometimes on social media for the world to see and sometimes in private.
But have you ever been stuck in the scroll hole and stopped by a gushy post about your friends husband and almost wanted to throw up because of the complete inappropriateness of it? The intimacy and depth that goes into it?
And I often see posts that people put up wishing their bestie a Happy Birthday and of course I think it's lovely but I always wonder if those words were said to the persons face, with eye contact and complete love. Not just to tell the world that their friend is amazing but to let them know the gratitude they feel for having them in their life.
I suppose this isn't really a blog post to give you advice, or explain some sort of an ephiphany I've had about the topic. It's more of a way for me to work through these thoughts.
When is it better not to shout it from the rooftops / Facebook?
Does it mean more because you've told your followers what you feel for someone?
Or is it more meaningful when it is just between the two of you?
I know personally, I tell the people I love what they mean to me in person or over the phone more than I do on my social media. I say much MUCH more to Hugh about why I adore him when laying on the couch together than I would type about him on my Instagram page.
Some things really are meant to stay between two people.
But when a lady bug was crawling across my bathroom bench last night my first urge was to get my phone and snap a picture of it's beauty, to share that moment with anyone who would appreciate it. And I thought of my Nan and stopped myself. I called in Bo and we watched it together, let it crawl on our hands and created a memory for us that will never make it to the internet but will stay in my heart.
So I urge you today to think about memories, think about making them just for you and yours. Think about what you share and why. Think about telling the people you love why you love them today, in person, on the phone or on social media, whatever feels good for you.
My Nan taught me a lesson on privacy, respect and also minimalism in that moment. She really is one of my greatest teachers with her straight forward thinking, love for others, devotee of keeping the family connected and kind and gentle nature.
I'm off to call her and tell her what she means to me.