My mother used to write the most beautiful letters. They were handwritten, well thought out, and in beautiful penmanship. A millennial would probably say, what’s penmanship? Why bother? You can text or better yet, no words, Instagram!
Muriel (if you have been reading our blog, you would know!) won awards for her beautiful cursive writing. Me, not so much. I’m a lefty and write like a doctor (if only I had gone to medical school!). She wrote letters to her boyfriends, caught my father’s attention with love letters that made me blush (when I went into her drawers and furtively read them!), and congratulated friends on their anniversaries, birthdays, marriage of a child, birth of a child, etc! When my mother-in-law passed away, she wrote the most beautiful letter to her husband, my father-in-law. She expressed her grief and disappointment in not really getting to know her new daughter-in-law, married less than 3 years earlier.
Letters are a thing of the past, sadly because they hold a person’s most private thoughts in a way that a text or email cannot. They can disappear with the stroke of the “delete” key. Whether on heavy stock paper with a monogram (this is what Muriel used) with ball point or ink, they beckon us to read them over and over again. I have put many of them in my drawers to be discovered unexpectedly as I rifle through underwear. Once I find one, I sit down and read it again. A tear may come to my eyes, a smile, a look of fondness and love. They are never to be duplicated again and they do not carry any acronyms: LOL, LMAO, WTF, IDK, OMG, etc. Everything is spelled out in full. T’s are crossed, i’s are dotted, strong messages underlined.
“Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” Yehuda Berg
‘Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa
‘To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart” Phyllis Theroux
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”- the Bible
I am of the generation who kept in touch by letter. I kept my college roommates apprised of my newly married life, my parents, my old friends, and family members. It took time to write, to compose, to add humor, funny stories. When you read my letters it was like being in the room with me. I wrote run on sentences, as I do today and called it my stream of consciousness writing. I loved receiving them in the mail and I hope mine were met with the same enthusiasm as the ones I received.
They are my mementos of a life filled with friendship that I worked very hard to maintain through a lifetime of new jobs and new addresses.
Take the time to pick up the phone, write a real letter on paper and mail it with a stamp, go ring someone’s doorbell to say hello.
We are all busy, even those of us in retirement, so it means that much more when we take the time to connect as human beings.
.Write a letter, the old fashioned kind on paper with a ball point pen. I’m sure you have one somewhere! It will mean more than you know to the person on the receiving end.
. Never underestimate the power of the spoken or written word. Keep your mind active by writing down your thoughts, whether in a personal journal, blog, or diary. You will be glad you did. They will make you smile when you need it most and keep your memories alive when you may have forgotten.
Enjoy the ride
Barclay and Joy