Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Letters in the Mail

When I came across an 8-page letter written by my mother about her Nursing School's graduating class I realized how much I missed receiving letters in the mail. It used to be so exciting-walking to the mailbox-opening it-and finding a letter with my name on it. I'd skip all the way back down the driveway-waiting to open it once I was back in the house and in my room. Receiving a letter was a personal event. It was like fireworks on the 4th of July. Someone had bothered to sit down and spend time writing to me. Then the envelope had to be addressed-postage had to be placed in that upper right-hand corner-then either dropped in a mailbox or taken to a post office. It was an effort to write a letter-and when I'd receive a letter that effort was appreciated.
I remember having a special box sitting on top of my desk in my bedroom. That's where I kept all my cards and letters. Sometimes I'd go through all of them-taking each one out and rereading them. I loved looking at the various examples of penmanship-all so different. When I look at my mother's I can see her sitting at the table with her hair up in pin curls and bearing down hard on the paper with her pen. When my older brother was in Vietnam I'd receive an occasional letter. His penmanship was very neat. My father-in-law's was a work of art. He considered penmanship quite important-telling a lot about a person. One aunt who lived in Chicago had penmanship similar to my mother's. That's when the postmark came in handy. Receiving a letter all the way from Chicago was most exciting. Receiving any letter was exciting.
Sad to think writing letters is a lost art-a lost event for the upcoming generations. That's why I send my granddaughter little things in the mail. I want her to feel that special excitement email will never offer-an envelope with stickers all over it and her name right smack dab in the middle-sealed-and meant only for her. Preserving little joys in life for the upcoming generations is important. Writing a letter is an expression of caring. Sure beats hitting send on a computer.

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