When is the last time you received a handwritten letter in the mail? It’s probably been a while. It’s a lost art, letting writing. When I open my mailbox, it’s more often than not stuffed with flyers which go directly into the recycling bin. Occasionally there’s a bill but even those come electronically these days. So I was delighted to see a handwritten card in my mailbox last week.
It was from my dear friend Natalie. I quickly ripped open the envelope right then and there. There’s something special about reading someone’s handwritten words meant just for you. To see your name in the salutation…Dear Colleen. It makes you feel thought of and cared about. You know when we comment on Facebook “Thinking of you”? Well, this goes that extra mile.
Natalie had read my blog post on Feeling the loss… and it made her feel a lot of emotions: sadness and anger but also hope and admiration. She wrote of her own devastating losses and how reading my words helps her believe that she, too, will get to the other side and find some inner peace, acceptance, and a little bit of joy. Thank you, Natalie, for sharing this in your own handwritten words. It touches my heart and lets me know I’m on the right path, and to keep on writing.
And by the way, this is not the first handwritten note I’ve received from Natalie. There have been several. I first met Natalie at the Forget for a Moment Makeover in 2017 which is when I received her first handwritten thank you card. Since then we have become good friends meeting for coffee every now and again to catch up on each other’s lives.
I have to admit it has been quite a while since I myself have written a letter. Back in the early 90’s after graduating from university, I had several friends who were international students and had moved back home to Hong Kong and Japan. Plus I had two friends who went abroad to teach English. Of course, this was before the days of email being an easily accessible mode of communication and long before social media.
I remember how I would eagerly anticipate a letter in my mailbox from a friend in a land far away. I would quickly respond back with a letter of my own. Occasionally, I would even get a letter from my mom up in Thunder Bay. Now that was snail mail worth waiting for!
Meeting like-minded travellers from around the world has also prompted me to hone my letter writing skills as a means to stay in touch. I’ve been pen pals with people in New Zealand, Australia, England, and across Canada. Mostly it’s been a yearly letter at Christmas time to catch up on the latest news. But even those have slowly dropped off over the years. And I have to admit they were mostly type written letters.
Cursive writing is becoming a lost art. It’s no longer part of the school curriculum and hasn’t been for a while. Why do our kids need to learn to write when they have iPads and iPhones? It’s so sad to think about. Remember taking notes in lecture halls in college or university? Quickly scribbling out words on lined paper. I’m sure that doesn’t happen anymore.
Even us adults, how often do we write anything by hand these days? Maybe a grocery list? When I do handwrite something, I can barely read it. My handwriting has gotten sloppy, barely legible. What you don’t use, you lose over time.
So when I receive Natalie’s cards, I appreciate the time she took out of her day to sit down and write out a thoughtful message, to buy a stamp, and get it in the mail. It’s a simple act that takes time, effort, and intention on the sender’s part, and warms the heart and touches the soul of the intended receiver. Thank you, Natalie.
I’ll end with the same way I began. When is the last time you received a handwritten letter in the mail? How did it make you feel? Tell me about it in the comments.
Until next week,
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