I have been sorting out a wallet full of items this morning which had belonged to my parents - not something I haven't seen before as it contains photos and Mum's 21st birthday cards (she was born in 1920) as well as other bits and pieces. It did set me thinking however when I found several letters addressed to her congratulating her on my birth (in 1954) all saying they had been watching the local paper for notification of my arrival. They had obviously been sent to her in hospital. Back then they had no phones so this would be the only way to find out. One aunt who lived 80 miles away had only found out by Dad writing to her. How different to today when a friend's daughter gave birth on Thursday afternoon and sent a photo immediately he'd been born and rang her mum whilst delivering the placenta!!
Similarly there are also condolence letters from relatives who had seen the announcement of my grandmother's death in the paper. They are all full of lovely sentiments and memories from people long gone themselves. Although I have the cards sent to me on my parents deaths with lovely messages there's something about a letter which is so much more personal.