Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mail Bag

Letter writing is soon becoming a lost art form. E-mails and text messages are in and handwritten letters are out. I will not be one of these people. I love to write letters. I love buying stationary and cards to send out. In the past, I've even attempted at making handmade cards. There is something personal about writing a letter; a card says you've taken time to think about that person, time to find the perfect stationary or card, time to write, time to send. It is a tradition I stand to continue - even with the increasing price of a stamp. Also, it is not just about me. When I grab the mail each day, I love to find mail that is not a bill. I feel blessed to be able to put a smile on someone else's face so that for that one day they have something else in the mailbox other than bills. Matt thinks I'm crazy about this letter writing. He laughed when I said I wanted stationary for Christmas. He doesn't understand why I send so many Christmas cards, and why I need to send thank you cards. I send letters and cards because it is the write thing to do. I have nothing against e-mails (I do use this feature) or text messages (not fond of these), but personal letters are just that - personal. They carry a meaning a computer screen can not. I'm a pack rat, so I have saved many a letter, but even if I wasn't I look at the movies and in books and on tv of family members who have found letters from their grandparents or letters written to children or bundles of love letters. Our kids are never going to be able to find bundles of letters because people are not writing letters. They won't be able to read our e-mails because e-mail is disposable (hello trash bin) and because everything is password protected. When was the last time you gave out your password to anyone? It warms my heart to think of the people who have been able to connect with loved ones lost through the letters they found. Their lives continue through the letters. Maybe I'm too much of a romantic or old-fashioned, but what are we leaving our grandkids by embracing technology and forgetting the past. I realize not everyone saves everything they receive, but there are people who treasure the heartfult letters. I remember rummaging through my grandparents dresser at my Aunt Mary Jo's house a few summers ago. I found a letter my dad had written to my aunt in 1982. The letter was all about me and how I had taken my first steps. I fell in love with that letter. Here was a piece of my history in a letter. Are our kids going to be able to find letters about their history in a dresser somewhere? Technology is a good thing, but we shouldn't completely throw out everything else. Future generations need to know how to write a thank-you note and they need to leave their mark for their grandkids. Leave a legacy. With letter writing on a decline, we are slowly erasing a history. What's your legacy? Will anyone remember it?

*The above was simply a freewrite (no proofreading done) about letter writing. It's been on my mind lately.

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