Monday, July 16, 2012
It's become nearly obsolete. Sending handwritten notes & letters.
I have this box in the top of my closet - completely full of handwritten notes and letters that Scott & I exchanged throughout our courtship -- from high school to college and then after. Tons of them. Those days in our relationship would be completely lost to me now, without the letters.
Some were notes passed in the hallways of our high school. Others were mailed back and forth at college, when I was at USC and he was at Clemson.
We still write letters and notes to each other. He's left me handwritten letters in my suitcase, when I've flown to the other side of the world without him. He's left me notes by the coffee maker so I'll see it first thing in the morning. We almost never buy birthday cards or anniversary cards, we write letters instead.
What a wonderful momenta of our relationship.
With texting and facebook messaging, handwritten notes are becoming a thing of the past with couples. Years from now, many couples won't have the benefit of pulling out a stack of old letters to read. The texts will be long since deleted. The messaging may be the same -- long since gone.
I don't know about you, but a handwritten thank you always means the most - especially if the writer puts some thought into the message - not just thanking you, but really making you feel that your gift was enjoyed and appreciated. When I get a really good one - I hang onto it. It goes in the basket beside my chair in the living room. I even pull those out from time to time and enjoy reading them a time or two more.
I don't remember who gave me the idea, but someone encouraged me once to write a handwritten letter telling the people closest to me what they meant to me. I remember sending my mom that kind of letter once. I don't remember what I said, but I'll never forget her reaction. It meant a lot to her.
On Scott's 50th birthday, I took the idea a step further. He's the kind of man that often underestimates the good he's done in his life or the impact he's made in this world. I think there's something about turning 50 that causes all of us to re-evaluate and question where we are in life and what we've accomplished. In advance of his 50th birthday, I invited friends and family to secretly mail handwritten notes or letters so that I could collect them and give them to Scott on his birthday. He was overcome.
He cried over the letters and read each one. Even since then, I'll pull out the box of letters again when he's had a tough day - and he enjoyed them all over again.
Handwritten notes. I want to keep writing them and receiving them. Life moves on, but the letters allow us to hold on to people and experiences a little longer. I like that.