I miss letters. I miss writing long, chatty letters to people. When I was a kid, my two best friends left me behind as they were sent off to boarding school. (I had wealthy friends). They were at different schools and so we wrote to each other every week, two long letters detailing our day. Sometimes we wrote more than once, because as my friend would say, “better short and mailed today than long and mailed tomorrow!”

I went off to college and wrote to friends from high school, including the two besties who remained friends until college made us drift apart. I wrote to my mom every week and still treasure the letters she wrote to me.

I wrote letters all the time. After college, I wrote to friends I would see maybe once a year. I wrote to pen pals – is there even such a thing any more?

When I moved from my home town to PA, I wrote to family and friends back home. As the years have passed, my oldest cousin – who wrote faithfully once a month – is going to be 91 and has lost some fine motor skills so it’s difficult for her to hand write a letter, and a computer is not something she feels the need to learn at her age. Another friend told me to just call – and yet, we forget to do that.

Another cousin passed away two weeks ago and I was the one who got to call a few people, including the two former letter writers. We had long conversations and it was wonderful, did my heart good. But it’s not the same as a letter.

When my mother passed away, I wrote her a letter every day. I told her all the things I would have said had she still been with me. I slowly stopped, as life went on (but I never stopped talking to her and telling her all the good gossip whenever there was any!)

In this day of instant messages and facetime and zoom, I miss the slow scratch of the pen on paper, of thinking about the words that are written down, the joy of seeing an envelope in the mail stuffed with pages of gossip and chat.

Maybe the world would be better if we all started writing letters again.

This entry was posted in family, home, memories, my life, old friends and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Letters

  1. Bitey Dog says:

    Since the shut down, I have started writing to people again. It is still a thrill to find an answer from them in the mail. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I made it a goal (because I don’t make resolutions!) to write letters – real letters – to some very important and beloved people with whom our only connection recently has been through a sort of “check in” on social media to know they are alive. While I no longer have the patience to write by hand (and possibly not the dexterity and neatness needed either), I’ve been typing letters and printing them out, signing them and sending them in the mail. Each of the three I’ve completed so far have been at least 3 typed pages. Much of it was frivolous – a more intimate “catch up” than gets exchanged on social media, but each of the recipients will also read that I choose to send this letter because I wanted a more personal way to thank them for what they have brought into my life through our relationship. I admit I falter with the idea of handwriting one to my best friend from high school (we graduated 47 years ago!) because that’s how we exchanged long notes to each other while attending school. I’d even thought about wondering if I could remember to fold it up like a “football” triangle like we did in school.

    I miss the anticipation and excitement that a letter in the mail brings – anticipation of what is going to be told in the letter and the excitement of reading all about it. We as a society have really gone forward with the instant gratification that social media brings. I miss the surprise of opening my mailbox and finding something that isn’t a bill or a flyer or advertisement of some sort. I miss being able to hold that letter in my hand, feel the paper, and being able to fold it up and put it away to be read and read again.

    I don’t expect to get a letter back from any of them. To say that I’d be beyond thrilled if I did is an understatement. Like you, I wish were all willing to make the time to maintain that kind of contact.

    Wanna be my pen pal?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ReginaMary says:

    I am a writer of letters, notes and cards. I love sending them and I love receiving them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes! You are right. I had pen pals from the time I was about 7 years old. I loved writing and receiving the letters. My mother’s aunt was a fantastic letter writer. She wrote regularly to my grandmother and mother. Her letters, pages long, mostly talked about her weekly events: going to work, her daughters lives and going to dinner and dancing with her husband on Sunday afternoon. Reading them was an event. I do get a yearly Christmas card from one of her daughters. No newsy letter though.
    I feel like with each technological advance to lose the human connection: letters to email to texts. The human touch is gone.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve given note cards, nice stationery and stamps to my grandkids asking them to write to me once a month. How many cards or letters have I received? Zero. You can’t reread a Zoom conversation and texts are just too short. Email isn’t the same thing either. I mail them things several times a year so I’m trying to practice what I preach.
    I miss handwritten letters, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I cut letters out of the newspapers and paste them on to white paper in vaguely disturbing messages. “I saw what you did last summer.” Folks don’t seem to want to correspond with me.

    Liked by 1 person

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