The other day, I received some mail in my post box. It wasn’t a postcard from my friendly real estate agent telling me how my house is worth much more than I think. Nor was it a letter from my local council member telling me how she is spending my massively inflated rates, based on how much friendly real estate agents think my house is worth. It wasn’t an electricity bill (they just hit me online now), or a catalogue from Vintage Cellars (although I do like those). This was a hand written envelope addressed to me, and I must admit I felt a small thrill upon seeing it (yes, it is possible that I need to get out more!) I was even more thrilled when I opened it, and found a beautiful note from a dear friend whom I shall call Caylie (because that’s her name) congratulating me on my new blog and website. Now, many friends have told me how they love what I’m doing, and it really does warm the cockles of my heart (does anyone actually know what cockles are?) But to know that someone actually took the time in this day and age to find a nice card, write some heartfelt words on it, put it in an envelope, and take it to the post office to buy a stamp (because nobody keeps stamps at home anymore- do they?) and then post it. Wow- I am exhausted just thinking about it, in these digitised times of automatically clicking send or post.
It made me think back to all the precious letters I have kept over the years- beautiful long heartfelt love letters from my long distance boyfriend (now long time husband), funny and descriptive postcards from friends backpacking overseas, and treasured handwritten cards from much missed relatives that are sadly no longer with me. In a way these missives are all relics of another era, but I am so glad I still have them in my possession. I may not look at them often, if at all, but it is certainly a comfort to know that they are safely sitting in a special box in the top of my cupboard, ready to be reread if I need to be reminded of how loved I am and how loved I have been throughout my life. Yet, I feel sad that my children will not have these memories to cherish. Sure there are a few birthday cards with some special words written on them- but heartfelt letters that someone has really taken time to consider their words over? I don’t think so. So, I have decided to once a year write (not type) a letter to each of my three children telling them the things I have loved about them and loved doing with them in that year. I will give it to them on Christmas day (not during present time- I’m not completely naive!) and tell them how much I love them, and that I want them to keep these letters in a special spot to read whenever they want to.
I am perfectly ok with the fact that they may not be that interested in what I have to say at this point in time. But it is my hope that maybe one day a grumpy teenager who is having a hard time expressing themselves, will be sitting listening to terrible music in their room, and feeling like the world is against them might think to read some words from me that they would never listen to spoken out loud. They would remember that no matter what, I am in their corner and I love them unconditionally. Or if God forbid, something happened to me, and I was no longer here for them, there would be tangible written evidence of my all-encompassing love for my children that survives long past texts and Facebook updates. If (there doesn’t seem to be a guaranteed ‘when’ in this day and age) they leave home, they may well leave these letters behind, along with long forgotten kinder drawings, soccer medallions, and written stories about magical kingdoms. But thats ok, because I shall keep them, ready to be the custodian of their memories until one day, they too need to remember how much they are loved and have been loved throughout their life.
Do you still write letters to people? Or do you write special notes for your children? I would love to hear from you…