Friday, December 30, 2011

Limner's Last Letter

Christmas is over, and we're thinking ahead to a new year. A little looking back is called for. Sentimental me hangs on to what came before this moment. Tears! Always tears. Silly sentimental sister-me. Looking back doesn't require glasses. Peering into the future does require the one thing I lack: a crystal ball. So, for what it's worth, I'm open to what ever comes. Let what ever will be, simply be. And, so I will. Change is inevitable. I must remember to embrace it.

In just a few minutes I will write my last letter before January One. My last mail of the year came this afternoon, from students involved with the We Care Act. Remember it? Seems so long ago that I heard of the project. I was happy to be a part--do my part--try to make a difference. Months passed, and I forgot.

When I saw the envelope I couldn't remember what We Care Act was about. Maybe it's a sign that I try too much, if I can't remember who I try to help. Right? Sometimes I see an envelope from a group asking for more and I teeter on the brink of despair. The more you give, the more they ask for. I opened the simple, unadorned envelope with a twinge of reluctance, but my feelings changed when I saw the first letter.

My heart leaped! I was happy to have the envelope! I have wondered about those students, and teachers, from time to time. Never doubted I would get feedback, yet never expected to hear from them. It was over and done with--something done. We are judged by our intentions. Mine were good. I'd done what I'd been asked. Buttered bread cast upon the waters, comes back toast. See? It's true. 

I think I wrote 12 letters, and included little Hello Kitty and other fun stickers, hoping they would brighten 12 lives, for at least a day or two. Or maybe my letters would bring hope to the lives of young children who had lost everything. Each letter says, "Your letter made me happy." They were written in June. Four of the five children's' names begin with or end with the letter M. Only one begins with the letter K. I like how they spell my name: Babi, Babbie, Babbi. They all thank me for my help. I'm not sure how I helped. No one asked for money. 

So. My first letters of the new year will be written to the students who wrote to me. I will include more stickers, and I will include at least two surprises. Since I have no way of distinguishing male from female by their names, I don't know what to send. They're all 14. Please, will you help me? Emma, Misty, Patty, everyone? Any suggestions? What does a Limner send to 9th graders? Wow. What about the other hundreds? Perhaps I should something they can share? Help! Please? Thanks in advance.

Sincerely sincere,


  1. Ninth that is a difficult age. But it is always my understanding that they would probably enjoy anything. At that age (and still to this day) I get fascinated not by the objects themselves..but by the fact that they traveled so far to get to me.

    They all appear to enjoy writing..perhaps you could send some nice stationery?Gender neutral of course. I would send Pez candies. They fascinate at any age! Haha. You have my minds gears turning. I will do some more thinking and get back to you. =)

  2. Since I recognize some hiragana in one picture I'm guessing these letters are from students in Japan. As a general rule, Japanese (given) names ending with -ko are girls names (like Yoshiko, Rumiko, Kazuko, Akiko, Keiko, etc.) but if they left the -ko off.... I don't remember if boys names had a particular ending or not.
    The Pen Thief's suggestions of Pez candies sounds like a good idea.

  3. Hi, Limner!
    I third it (hee!hee!) on the Pez candies. Who doesn't love those marvelous dispensers and enjoy the candy that pop out? I also like your idea about stickers. Anything fun would be good, I think. That country and most certainly the children have been through a great deal. Anything that would bring a smile to their lips would be good.

  4. Just a quick note: I've never eaten a Pez. I bought my first dispenser for someone else, for Christmas. I'll check with the organization and see if it's okay. Thanks, everyone. Am still open to other idea,s in case postage is a problem for them.

  5. Wow. Just arrived at their site. Origami cranes were also sent, along with letters and cards. How could I have forgotten the cranes?

  6. Egg on my face! Didn't know they were going to post our letters. LOL! I sent two batches of letters, so I guess the first envelope made it safely. I forgot all about the trinkets. See why it's important to scan letters and cards? :( Let me be an example. :) Memory might fail, but scans are actual proof.

    Goodnight, and Happy New Year!

  7. In the new semester of the new year, I do an auction in my classes (high school level) at the end of the 4th six weeks grading period. Throughout the grading period students are issued Mrs. D's Funny Money (think Monopoly type money) for various things. Good grades, as prizes for winning review games, for improvements, for helping someone else...and sometimes for silly things like everyone who has a triangle shape on their tee shirt. Goods for the auction are anything I can scrape up that is free: pencils from the bank, notepads, calendars, planners, rulers, bumper stickers. Each class has an auction during its class period and students bid on the items with their funny money. It always surprises me which items start bidding wars. Over the years I've found the most sought after items are post-it note type flags for bookmarking pages, lanyards with key rings from various military recruiters, yearly planners (checkbook size), and highlighters. Maybe some of those items would appeal to your young letter writers. Hope this helps.

  8. Pez sweets are always awesome! Maybe get them something unique from the USA? x

  9. Teachers are definitely in the know. Thanks, Patty.

    Thanks, too, Emma. Pez seems to be popular.

    Will let everyone know what the group says. Pez cost a dollar each here, when they're on sale. Now I can't help wondering how the children who don't get treats might feel. Sheesh. This is hard. :(