The letter. Do you remember that dinosaur? No, no, no, it is not something you type out onto an email, or text from your phone or even message on Facebook. It is not the same as commenting, liking, tweeting, repining, stumbling, joining or even following (did I miss any?). Need a memory jog…or maybe, marathon?
The letter is that archaic form of communication where you actually pick up a pen (if you can find one that works), select a stationary or card (my favorite often had bunnies or rainbows), write by hand sentiments and thoughts (which requires you have some), write the address (that street-city-state-zip thingy), stamp it (the little.44 sticker) and send by (gasp) the US Post – heretofore to be referred to as “snail-mail”. Coming back to you now?
Well, recently I have been thinking about letters a lot. I have been remembering the stationary kits I had as a kid, complete with matching paper, envelopes and stickers. I have been reminiscing over the times when I lived away from home and became closer to friends and family through this antiquated form of communication. I have been cherishing all the letter responses I stored away and saved. I have been laughing hysterically over letters written by my teen self to my Grandmother that were returned to me upon her death. I have been recalling how, when you receive a physical letter, it feels like obtaining a piece of the person who penned it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the electronic mediums as much as the next girl. You just can’t beat the convenience of texting/emailing while driving, the divides bridged (and marriages compromised) by social networks, and the home created for otherwise completely useless information.
But, here is the thing, I have a friend (yep, true stuff there). She is a special kind of friend. She is the kind of friend I have known since before puberty. The kind of friend who remembers the leopard patched ripped-up Levis I wore with pride and will still call me out on if need be. The kind of friend with whom I have, fought, laughed, cried, and survived over the years. The ‘til death do us part kind of friend.
This friend, well, she still on occasion writes letters. When I least expect it and sometimes most need it, a letter will arrive in my mailbox from her. It will be filled with words of encouragement, sentiment, and love. It will be decorated with stickers or sayings. It will have taken her time, attention and effort to accomplish. Sometimes, the stationary will be hand crafted; sometimes the letter will be written all helter skelter; and sometimes the contents will cause me to smile, laugh or even cry a little.
But, no matter what is inside, the letter always makes my day – in that warm, cared about, loved and appreciated kind of way. In a manner that no email, text, IM, tweet, like or follow ever could, or honestly, ever will.
So today, I am going to write my friend a letter. I am going to enclose some words of love, encouragement and appreciation. Maybe, I will decorate it with stickers. Probably, I will try to write something funny. Definitely, I will pen into the words a piece of myself. Then, I am going to address it, stamp it and send it via snail-mail.
And when the letter arrives in my friend’s mailbox,
I hope, it makes her day.