As soon as I read the first paragraph of the letter, my eyes filled with tears. Continuing my quest to try something new for 30 days, I had decided to mail out handwritten notes, cards, and letters in April. My aunt had included the address of a close friend of my parents, whom I had lost touch with over the years, in her Christmas card. As part of my plan to send out more letters in April, I had written to Sharon.
I filled the letter with updates about our family and my sister and brother’s families. Before long, I was thrilled to find a letter from Sharon in my mailbox. Having this letter was especially poignant because she and her husband had been great friends of our parents. My parents passed away within a year of each other more than 20 years ago. As a result, they have not been here to share in many of the events of our lives.
Momentous occasions such as weddings and graduations, as well as the day to day challenges and joys of our lives have occurred without an opportunity to share these moments with them. Sharon’s statement that “I can’t help but think how proud your Mom and Dad would be of their ‘brood'” sent a pang of longing as well as happiness through me. Sharon went on to update us on her children whom we had played with as kids, as well as her grand- and great-grandchildren. The stories she added about the old times with my parents were a welcome glimpse into that part of their lives-a time that we now have few opportunities to hear about.
Perhaps I can’t count sending handwritten notes as something completely new. I have been a fan of handwritten notes that are sent through the mail. A few years ago, after receiving an age-group medal in the mail from the Best Damn Race, I jotted a quick note of gratitude and sent it off. I was floored to see my note posted on their Face Book page a few days later!
However, more often than not, I mentally compose a message and perhaps even select a note card…and then neglect to actually write it. So in April, my goal was to put these notes into the mailbox.
Some of the notes were just cards.
Some included photos I had meant to send out for months.
One note accompanied a package.
A few were actual birthday cards that I mailed instead of relying on my new easy-way-out-Face-Book post.
I even mailed a card to Mike just before Hannah and I went out of town. I thought it would be a fun surprise when he picked up the mail.
This endeavor gave me the opportunity to use some of the quirky note cards I’d collected for some future, nebulous correspondence.
When our bill at The Friendly Toast arrived with a post card, I actually wrote a quick note on it and popped it into the mailbox.
Since I sent my first letter to Sharon I have received two additional letters that included a photo and one of my mom’s recipes that, unbeknownst to me, had become a family favorite of theirs. I have also received several written replies to my notes which certainly perked up the contents of my mailbox!
Although I didn’t put a note in the mail every day in April, I truly made a concerted effort to amp up my written correspondence. I loved it! As with the other months’ “something new” endeavors, I found that this addition added another dimension to my daily life and it has flowed beyond it’s designated month.
I won’t be posting a letter everyday but I anticipate that I will happily be raising the flag on my mailbox a bit more often.