I Heart Letters

I got a letter in the mail today.

Not a bill. Not an advertisement. Not an envelope full of coupons I’ll never use. Just a note from a friend in California, saying she enjoyed my book.

I can’t remember the last time I got a letter. It made me happy.

Then it made me sad.

Letter writing is a dying art. Back when I was in school (I can’t believe I just wrote that…what’s next, dentures? Arthritis cream? Eating dinner at 4:00?), letters were how we communicated with out-of-town friends and family. Stamps were about .22 and my grandparents would get them for me in rolls of 100. I’d use them all in a matter of months. I liked writing letters and I loved receiving letters.

I still have a box full of letters I got from my grandfather. He would have been 91 years old today. He passed away over seventeen years ago, and I still miss him. But I have his letters. In his handwriting. He would write and tell me he was proud of me. He would write and encourage me to work harder in Chemistry. He would always end his letters with an “I love you.” I treasure those letters. Last summer, my grandmother found a letter Grandaddy had written to his sister during World War 2. He wrote it when he was young, unmarried, stationed in England. I heard his voice in that letter. He talked about the pretty British girls and how he was too shy to talk to them. He told his big sister not to worry about him, that he was fine. His handwriting was similar to the handwriting I knew, but a little larger, less controlled. I loved seeing that glimpse of Grandaddy, the young soldier. I had heard the stories. But holding a piece of that period in his life was so special.

Will my grand kids have letters like that from me? Or will they just look back on Grandma’s blog? Her archived e-mails? Sift through the files of digital pictures stored on her external hard drive?

I love technology. But I miss what it’s replacing.

Like letters.

I had forgotten how much I liked letters until today. So thanks, Susie, for the reminder.

And for the letter.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *