Last letters

Jody Noland helps the dying pen their final correspondences to grieving loved ones.

A man had a brain tumor. Before he underwent an operation, friends and family packed into his hospital room to offer a prayer, a firm hand, good-luck wishes. He’d been so strong, so healthy! Everyone was shocked.

The man’s wife squeezed past the crowd of loved ones to reach her husband’s side. He looked at his life mate.

“Did you bring pen and paper?” he asked. She had.

Pen and paper? Onlookers were puzzled.

The next day, they learned why. The man wanted to write goodbye letters to his children — just in case.

Jody Noland, a 58-year-old resident of Cobb County, was among the well-wishers in the man’s hospital room that day.

Letters. It struck a chord with her. Her mother had written Jody letters, and Jody had picked up the habit, writing letters to her child. Letters, she knew, last. They anchor memories, connect one generation to the next, become keepsakes, the folded treasures in dresser drawers. Letters matter.

ExploreClick here to keep reading.