a letter…

…found in a long, lost book.

An old letter fell out of a book that had been donated to a library book sale. Instead of throwing it away, the always-curious Emme read the letter. It contained the usual niceties to the couple it was addressed to, apologies for not writing sooner, and references to Jesse Jackson running for President. A clue! A little research dated the letter to the 80s. Wow!

The handwriting appeared to be that of an older woman. “Would she still be alive? Her husband? What about the couple to whom the letter was written?” And, could the sender still be living at the same address after 30 years?

Knowing how the once insignificant can become preciously significant in a heart beat, the decision was made to return the old letter. Emme wrote a new letter explaining the circumstances of how it had come into her possession. The new envelope was addressed with the thirty-year-old address and dropped in the mailbox. Would it come back “undeliverable”?

A month or so passed, then a card arrived with familiar handwriting from the same address that Emme had returned the letter to! It was from Catherine—the writer of the original, old letter. Catherine wrote that she was very surprised and appreciative that a stranger, from hundreds of miles away, had taken the time to return a long forgotten letter.  Of the four characters in the story—the couple to whom the letter was written, and Catherine and her husband—only two remain. The letter recipient’s spouse (ironically a retired intelligence officer!) and Catherine. Ninety-one-year-old Catherine!

Thank you for your kindness, Catherine!


About Barb Kellogg

I'm a people, pet and nature photographer who loves great bokeh, dark chocolate, and a good cup of tea.


  1. That is so cool. How nice to close the loop.

  2. Jan

    A flick of light thrown on an old contact. Fascinating.

  3. Love it! And honestly My mom had boxes and boxes and BOXES of cards just like that, from Current Inc as I recall?

  4. karen

    What a super story! Overflowing with trust and concern. I would think Catherine will remember the volunteer’s caring and kindness for all the coming years.

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