Putting pen to paper to write a letter has become a lost art. We live in the world of technology where text messages and emails have replaced an old fashioned handwritten letter.
I recently received a card from someone that I haven’t corresponded with for over 15 years. It was a surprise but it was a nice surprise and I did write him back. I decided on a handwritten letter because it seems more personal to me. And considering the circumstances I thought it was best to be personal.
I think of when I was younger, a little kid, when receiving a letter was a big deal. It was exciting to check the mail and to have something there addressed to me. Now, all I get is bills….no fun or exciting at all. I think of how far technology has taken us and I think that my own children will miss out on the simple experiences such as receiving a letter in the mail.
The person who is writing me is in prison. Technically he is not my family because he is related to my ex-husband, so we are no longer related. But, divorce does not necessarily mean you have to erase every single person that is related to the ex.
This person has made some terrible choices which he is paying the consequences for. I don’t judge him because it’s not my place. He will spend his entire adult life in prison with no chance at parole. I am the only person in his “family” that he corresponds with, and that is something recent, so for over 15 years he has had no contact with anyone from his life prior to prison. That’s an additional punishment on top of his life sentence.
It was in my letters to him that he learned that his aunt, uncle, and grandmother had passed away. It was in my letters that he learned of cousins who have been born. It was in my letters that he has learned about home town news and family changes. I have an option to email him but there are some things that do not need to be sent over an impersonal email. A letter isn’t ideal either, but I find it more personal than typing over a computer and hitting send.
So now I’m back to writing letters. It makes me pause and think of what I want to say. Pen to paper doesn’t give me the ease of a backspace or delete key. It’s ink on paper, no erase button, so what I write is what is written. It’s given me a chance to reflect which I like.
I hope the letters he receives gives him a little peace of mind. I hope it makes him feel cared about. I hope that it makes him feel that he’s not as alone has he has felt over the past 15+ years.
Try writing a letter to someone. Something more than the family Christmas card. Send a little note to someone to let them know that they are worth the time to put pen to paper, address an envelope, put a stamp on it, and mail it. A handwritten letter takes more effort than logging into our email and hitting send. Let someone know that they are worth the effort.
God bless, and be blessed.