Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thinking of You

Today I hit the jackpot! When I looked through my stack of mail, there were two hand-written letters from friends. You could have knocked me over with a feather! You have no idea how much it means to me to hear from you. Let me tell you.

One letter writer commented she didn't know how I had time to write hand-written letters. I have to admit that I don't send letters in the summer ... ever. Now that I am back to spending a good part of an hour daily in front of the happy light, I'm writing a lot more and it's so therapeutic for me. I've pretty much gone through my Rolodex and written to everyone I can think of.  The other envelope I  received was from a friend who is not much for writing letters but her note warmed my heart just the same.

I don't know what you all do with letters you get from friends, but I save mine. I have a hanging folder labeled "Cards & Photos from Friends and Family". After I read your letters, I drop them in the hanging folder and I pull them out once in a blue moon to look at and treasure. I don't keep cards that have simply been signed unless they are particularly funny. Gene and I had a conversation about this recently. He's saved every card anyone has ever given to him. He doesn't keep them all in one place so it's like Christmas for him when he looks in a drawer and finds cards he stashed away. He found one the other day that is so personal (it was not from me) that I can't share what was written but I can you tell that it was touching. He left it on the counter for me to read and I cried.

My grandmother died about 4 years ago, or was it 5? When I traveled to her home-town the following year, my aunt handed me a ziploc bag of items my grandmother had kept in her drawer. Among those treasures were letters and photos I had mailed to her throughout my life.  I was surprised to receive them back. The first time I opened the ziploc bag, I had to close it quickly. It was so painful. It's still painful to this day. 

Listen up.  If you are not sending hand-written letters to people you love, they won't have anything tangible to hold in their hands should you leave this earth before them.  When I see my grandmother's hand-writing on a letter she wrote to me, it's like time travel. I can picture her sitting at her dining room table with her white-lined writing tablet, an envelope and a stamp. She always wrote two pages and her letter always included a weather report. I miss her very much.

To my friends who took the time to write me recently, there is no gift I would treasure more than your letters. I truly mean that.

love, susan 


  1. Wow! This post really touched a special spot for me. What a treasure. A hand written letter is truly a gift. I'm like you. I keep all the letters and I keep the cards that people write notes in, but if they are just signed, they go in the trash unless the card is particularly funny or unique in some way. I have boxes of letters and cards and i plan on returning them to the senders so they can have a record of their happenings. One friend in particular used to send very newsy letters and I know she doesn't keep a journal (but wishes she had)... I think she will be thrilled to get her letters back to have as a record for her family.

    My husband and I fell in love through letters. We met while he was on military leave visiting some of his family who lived in the same town as me; he stole my address and started writing. A year later he returned and proposed.

    I learned that many schools are no longer teaching cursive writing so the students can spend more time learning keyboard skills. That makes me extremely sad. What if my grandchildren can't read all my cursive handwriting in journals and letters?

  2. This post also touched a sensitive cord in me as well, I so very much thank you for reminding us how important a hand-written note is, as I do cherish the ones that I have too. I'll have to take time and respond to my dusty Rolodex list of addresses as well ;)

  3. I haven't sent a hand written letter since my husband was deployed to Iraq in 05-06, although I do leave hand written notes for my kids and send them to friends.

    But I totally understand how you feel about those letters from your grandmother. My parents (my mother especially) were big on writing letters and I've saved every one! I love having those letters from my parents, especially now that they are both gone.

    I think I'm going to make time and write to my family. Thanks for the reminder!


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