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.