Guest Writer Feature: Keep Your Old Love Letters


Danielle Bell

Freshman Ivana Garcia-Mata

by Ivana Garcia-Mata, Guest Writer

Floral Box. Folded paper. Cursive writing. Monica Mata keeps her most prized possession in a box.

Mata has kept all love letters sent from her high school lover and present husband. They have been together for more than 16 years. Out of all boys who have sent her letters, she knew they were meant for each other. They would meet each other at the end of the day with a rose and a letter about their day.

“I have 21 love letters from him,” Mata said. “I would have more but we were a on-again, off-again couple so everytime we broke up he would rip every single one of my letters from him to shreds.”

She received her first love letter when she was 14 and has received more since but it wasn’t until she was 17 that she wrote one first. It was a huge step for her, but she was glad she did it.

“I knew I was the first one to write to him,” Mata said. “His first several letters had bad grammar. It was funny but it gave me butterflies because he wasn’t used to writing. It made me feel special.”

They aren’t just words on a paper. To Mata, it’s much more than that.

“I feel like they are a piece of his feelings,” Mata said. “ He doesn’t express himself as much as he did in these letters.”

Mata has kept these letters for more than 15 years. They might be special, but at times she has felt the need to get rid of them.

“We get into arguments like all couples do,” Mata said. “Almost every time we do I want to ruin them, but I never have the guts to. I want to have them so when he’s not here so I can read them and remember all the memories we shared.”

Mata didn’t write letters just for the fun of it. She has a reason to writing letters.

“It’s easier to express myself through writing,” Mata said. “When I feel the need to say something that I can’t exactly say to him face to face I write it down. It’s just easier to put words on paper than to speak them.”

Mata still reads her letters once in a while. They still bring the same feeling they did as when she first received them.

“I encourage others to keep their love letters,” Mata said. “Letters from anyone actually. And write as well. When you can’t find the words to speak, write them. I promise it’s a lot easier.”