My friends and I passed notes to each other in middle school. Intricately folded papers where we poured our feelings out to one another about boys we had crushes on that didn’t know we existed. We analyzed looks they gave us. We dissected remarks they made. Sometimes we argued, or defended conversations we had earlier. Our words were formed with #2 pencils, turquoise, purple and hot pink pens. I have over a decade’s worth of paper correspondence I’ve been sifting thorough today since I found it.
There are letters from pen pals… people I met at youth conferences, attended church with on vacation, and missionaries. I saved letters from grandparents, cousins, aunts uncles, my brother, sister, and my parents. I have wedding and graduation announcements. I have Christmas and birthday cards. There are so many fragments of my personal history and lives of others recorded in about a decade’s worth of papers. At first, I was going to simply sort the pile into chronological paper sacks, but I couldn’t help reading them.
As I have read, I have chortled at my dramatic flair. I have recalled people I forgot were once important to me. It’s also left me with a longing for the connection of the written word. I long for the shared intimacy a letter provides that a text doesn’t. When was the last time you wrote someone a letter? When was the last time you recounted your important life events to someone via a hand written note? I challenge you to do it… today. By writing letters, you are sharing your personal history. You are leaving a paper trail for future genealogists. More importantly, you can brighten someone’s day by sharing part of yourself. You might have to dig for the neglected stationary in your desk drawer, or buy a card and stamps, but it will be worth it… I promise. Who will your letter be to?
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