Dear Rachel,

I look forward to your marriage and lovingly pass this advice to you. Ask not for perfection in your mate. You will not find it, and it’s just as well. Living with a saint can be very tiresome. Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger.

Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than break. Believe the best rather than the worst. People have a way of living up––or down––to your opinion of them.

Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. The person you choose to marry is deserving of the courtesies and kindness you bestow on your friends. And please hand this letter down to your children and your children’s children. The more things change, the more they are the same.

Love, Grandma

Grandmother Joyce Wells

Baltimore, Maryland

May 2, 1886

My father passed this letter on to me many years ago and when my own grandchild was born a few weeks ago, I pulled it out and read it again. What better advice could anyone give today? Time constantly ticks forward and change is inevitable. Technology brings the world into our homes. A tweet instantly reports worldwide events. Facebook and FaceTime reach to the corners of the Earth connecting long lost friends and distant family. A whole new language evolves through cyberspace. And we don’t know what we’d do without smartphones, GPS, computers, tablets and inventions we we didn’t know we needed a decade ago.

But Grandma was right. The more things change, the more they are the same. We all love, hurt and bleed the same. I cherish Grandma’s letter, whispers of wisdom from an all but forgotten era. Love doesn’t change. It is eternal.



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