I admit that I am old fashioned when it comes to cards, letters, and even books. Ecards, emails, eBooks are all vastly more convenient and immediate, and the message gets through faster. Yet, there is something about the scrawled handwriting and card in hand that I find a connection. Hospice sent me a note the other day marking six months since my grandmother died. They could have emailed and not sent along a newsletter for the six months, but they did. I understand that it was a mass mailing. My name was on a list to send, but it was the tactile experience for me. I found the pages anchoring somehow. I do not think that I am all alone in this.
Another admission: I have kept cards, letters, and notes from family and close friends for years. I have cards and letters from friends in middle school, high school and college—pen pals. Notes from my grandmothers when I was at college. I have all the long letters my dad wrote to over the years. When I reread my dad’s letters, I see his strong handwriting in pencil and can hear his voice in words and phrases he used. My dad took letter writing seriously. It was a labor of love. You wrote drafts first. So I knew when I opened his letters, this was a thoughtful process and days of rewriting. I also knew when he finally sent it in the mail; it was difficult because he probably still wasn’t fully happy with his final draft.
Perhaps, I am projecting comfort. Just because I find the written note and card something special, doesn’t mean others do. I miss my dad’s letters. I miss getting cards from both of my grandmothers. So much.
Think about sending a handwritten to someone, and I bet they will appreciate the now unique gesture.