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Pen to Paper: The Hand-Written Letter

I miss hand-written letters.

Don’t get me wrong.

I love technology and the instant accessibility and response to my thoughts, my actions, and email.

There’s just something about a hand-written letter. 

Writing a Letter

When I was thirteen, we moved across the country. I left friends behind. There was no email back then. No texting. We relied on hand-written letters to keep in touch. I’m sure our letters had swirls and hearts and were bedazzled with smiley faces. Oh, how I loved those letters when they would arrive. I’d read them over and over and then write back and have it in the mail box the next day on its way to them.

By high school, I had discovered love letters. The boys wrote them to me and left me breathless. I wrote my share back…and years later, one boy surprised me by showing me an orange box he kept in his closet—its contents? Every handwritten letter and note I had penned to him.

As a newlywed, I kept in touch with high school friends as our lives came to the fork in the road and some of us went on to college, married and joined the service.

All through the years, I wrote my grandma and my great-grandmother. My great-grandmother always included the sentence, “Hell’s fuzzy“. It was her trademark.

Then I had children. Computers were just starting to come into homes, but I had no idea that they would take over the world, so I was diligent in teaching my children to write. Every night from the time they could hold a pen/pencil we practiced writing. Jake will tell you now how much he appreciates that time. He has gotten a lot of attention (from girls) because of his “nice handwriting”.

Our school seems to have a debate going on whether or not children should learn cursive. I say, they should. We’re a house divided with Li’l Man coming home with cursive letters carefully crafted and learning to connect them while Miss M is teaching herself off her little brother’s worksheets because her grade seems to have been cast into a gap.

Summer. My children are at Camp Grandma and Grandpa. We talk every night on our phones and I love the text messages they send me. For these moments, I am grateful for technology.

Tonight, I decided to leave the cell phone in my purse and resort to a more traditional form of communication: a hand-written letter. I write them notes when they are home and they also leave me notes, but seldom have I sat down and put ink to paper as a form of a larger communication.

It was like sending a morsel of home. A slice of where they came from and a reminder that they are the most important people in my life.

In my trademark doodles, I added some color and animated some of the words to make them my own.

This letter is unique. It’s my handwriting. There is no reply button. They can savor it. Tuck it in their pocket or throw it away. They can write me back and share something exciting with me.

I may not bring back the written letter, but I can share something I loved as a child, that I think we all need to experience–a letter, hand-written, with our name on it, in our mailbox.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone you loved?


This article appeared in The Huffington Post on 04/28/16

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