April is National Card and Letter Writing Month
I can think of very few times I’ve printed out an e-mail, a message or status update where someone has shared with me via this technology. Not that the person sending it isn’t special, but there is something impersonal about an electronic or wireless message in typeface that I don’t think twice about deleting it once it’s read.
On the other hand, I have letters my mom wrote to me when I first got married. I’ve got every card my honey has ever given me. I have cards my kids have made or bought for me. I have handwritten letters from a friend in Bulgaria before she ever had access to a computer. I have letters that my great-grandparents wrote to each other and other family members. What priceless things I have in my possession. A glimpse into what they felt, what they were doing, who they were on the inside. Although I love old photographs, photos do not convey what my ancestors were thinking or how they felt. (They all look mad don’t they?) But their letters to each other convey anger, frustration, humor and love.
April is National Card and Letter Writing month. Postmaster John E Potter once said, “National Card and Letter Writing Month is an opportunity for all Americans to rediscover the timeless and very personal art of letter writing. Both in times of peace and conflict, cards and letters are the most effective way to share and permanently record our thoughts, prayers, hopes and dreams.”
I don’t know about you, but I can wait for a weekend to open my e-mail to see if I received something besides junk or spam. I do get excited when I have a message from a loved one. In most cases it is a sentence or two, sometimes a paragraph. Whereas if I receive a card or letter from someone in the post box I can’t even make it up the driveway without tearing it open to read the contents inside.
There is something special about a handwritten note. To see the pen strokes someone made with their hand, while they were thinking about you touches something deep inside. I lost my mom in 2004 and I am so thankful that I still have her cards and letters to me. Just seeing her handwriting stirs up an emotion inside of me that usually results in tears spilling on my cheeks.
My mother, and my friend in Bulgaria, eventually got computers and started e-mailing instead of sending hand written letters and cards. I don’t have those letters. I never thought to print them out and keep them. And honestly, those few e-mails I remember were not full of the thoughts, prayers, hopes or dreams that used to come inside an envelope hand addressed to me.
Spring is a time of hope and renewal. Take time to put pen to paper sometime in April to someone you care about. I’ll bet when it arrives in their post box it will put a quick in their step and a yearning to open it up to see what you are sharing with them.