A blogger I follow, A Day In The Life of a Latvian Mom, wrote about getting an actual hand written letter and her trepidation in reading it because the last time she received a hand written letter several years ago was a sad one from a former beau. This post got me to thinking….when was the last time I received a hand written letter? Hmmmm……
Thinking back I believe it was from my husband’s Aunt Kay who passed away in 2002. Aunt Kay always wrote the most wonderful letters filled with whatever was going on in her life at the time and her hopes for the future. She told stories in her letters; she shared recipes; she shared her feelings; she wanted the reader to feel like they spent time with her. When you got a letter from Aunt Kay it was truly a work of love. Throughout her life, she kept the family together with her descriptive letters. My hubby’s family lives all over the US and it was Aunt Kay that kept them close; kept them in touch with everything going on in the Midwest. She loved her family fiercely and was instrumental in keeping them informed on the family news.
As a child I can remember getting a letter in the morning mail and Mom would not open it till after dinner. She kept it to read at the dinner table once we were finished eating where she was sure we would all be together and she would have our full attention. Mom believed if someone cared enough to share a part of their day with us, we should be courteous enough to share some of our time reading their letter and discussing it together. For after all, these friends and family took time to write, we needed to honor their efforts by taking time to listen and read.
No one wanted to miss Mom reading the letter from extended family or friends in another state or country because we were sure to learn something new, share some tidbit of gossip or find out when these wonderful people were coming to visit. There was always some reference to a place unfamiliar to us. Then once the dinner dishes were cleared away the atlas would come out to find that elusive place and cement in our minds the location of our loved ones. It was through other’s descriptions of daily life in exotic(to us) places that improved our geographic skills and gave each of us an understanding of life away from home. Sharing their daily events brought us closer to these folks that we saw so sporadically we may never have felt close were it not for those wonderfully descriptive letters. And, when they came to visit, oh how we’d laugh and relive their experiences; getting the entire story of what that event meant to them.
A hand written letter is more than mere words on paper. Mom always said it was like getting a piece of themselves, like sharing their world.
Isn’t it wonderful that hand written letters evoke such strong feelings of love, contentment and anticipation? When did you last receive “Real Mail”. Maybe it’s time to start writing real letters again. Maybe we need to share ourselves on paper, our hopes, our dreams, our everyday life. Who would you write to and what would you share?