Send me a Letter


When was the last time you wrote or received a letter in the regular mail?

In this fast paced distracted electronic age, we all prefer to text, email or Facebook to stay in touch. Why not? It’s easy, fast and cheap.

Writing a letter on paper is more time consuming and you have to wait for the letter to go through the mail. Who has time to wait for that?

As much as I love instant communication as my Facebook friends know, I do love writing and receiving an actual letter. It’s such a treat and beats the heck out of junk mail and bills.

It’s a real pleasure to be able to hold the letter in your hand and read it again and again. Oh, I know you could probably do that with an Ipad or phone but it’s not the same. 

There’s something so tactile feeling that smooth paper and seeing that envelope addressed to you with a nice stamp, the letter handwritten or typed on pretty stationary or a special card.

When I was a kid, I had lots of penpals around the world. It was such a thrill to write to them about my life in Canada and wait to receive a letter back hearing about their lives.

Now we can instantly communicate with someone around the world which is great, too, but different. Gone is that anticipation of the waiting.

My friend, Cécile and I have started exchanging snail mail letters again as that’s how we originally got to know each other years ago after the death of my baby Laura due to forceps injuries in 1992.

In 1993, my son Rory was born and the birth went well that time. I was feeling stronger and more hopeful. This was the time the Internet was being introduced so email wasn’t that big yet. We all still had dial up and long email addresses full of weird numbers and letters. 

I was looking for a way to connect with other bereaved parents to share our feelings and offer them support. I wrote a letter to Today’s Parent, a Canadian parenting magazine, saying I was looking to share with other bereaved parents who had also lost children. Cécile was one of the many people who wrote to me telling me about the loss of her baby daughter. She offered me support for my loss and we’ve been good friends ever since, even though she lives in New Brunswick and I live in Ontario. Cecile is the only person I’m still in touch with after all these years. Our friendship has weathered the test of time and letter writing is certainly a part of the bond we share.

When I told her recently how much I enjoy exchanging letters again, she said that to her, letter writing was a way of slowing time down. What a great way of seeing it. I agree!

Often when I read back over old letters I’ve written or that I’ve received, I relive the time period again. Like a favourite song, it brings it all back again and I remember the feelings and experiences I was going through at the time.

I suppose I could go back and look at old emails and Facebook messages to relive the moment, but it isn’t quite the same thing.

A personalized handwritten letter is so special and receiving one in the mailbox is like getting a gift that gives again and again. 

I'll leave you with this famous song by the Marvelettes. I'm off to mail my letter to Cécile. Until next time!


I am participating in the Write Tribe Blogging Challenge. http://writetribe.com/write-tribe-pro-blogger-creativity-takes-courage/ Thanks to such a supportive group, I have become a much more regular blogger.

I try to write a post every day. Most of the time I manage but there are days when the words don't flow or I write crap so I don't torture readers with those posts.

Comments

  1. So true...I think the last time I received a letter was when I was in college, 2007 I think...after that it has all been emails..But I know what you mean....I used to love reading the letters my husband (then boyfriend) had sent me during our courtship..ofcourse I tore them all one day in a fit of anger which I regret immensely now !

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    1. Oh dear, Naba! :( Yes, I've done stuff like that in anger, too. Hope you have the memories of his nice letters anyhow.

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  2. When we were kids we used to write letters to our friends and cousins during summer vacations. I recently found some old letters full of weird nicknames and code words - such fun. I like your idea of starting again. They make for such wonderful keepsakes.

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    1. What fun, Tulika finding those childhood letters. Letters are wonderful keepsakes.

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  3. I used to have a pen pal. I don't know what happened to all my letters though. Hmmm. :(

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    1. Penpals are fun, aren't they? I used to have loads. I don't have their letters either.

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  4. I still write letters when I feel it is too important to send an email, especially when they are letters of thank you. When I speak at a venue, I always send a letter of thank you to the host and they almost always respond with "We were so pleased to receive your thank you -- no one ever sends one." I just sent a letter today to the bride and groom of the wedding we attended this past weekend. I wanted to thank them for inviting us, honoring us, etc. I know they won't expect it and it will be a beautiful surprise for them. I wish I received more letters -- but.....

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    1. That's great you always send those thank you letters, Carol. I think they're important, too. How special sending that thank you to the bride and groom! They will be pleased, I'm sure.

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  5. When I was a kid I had quite a few pen pals, but now? I don't honestly know when I have written a letter and who it could have been to. It seems to be a lost art form.

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    1. So true, Kathy. Kind of sad that hardly anyone writes snailmail anymore. I think it's so special.

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  6. Love snail mail Cat! My family still believes in it, although they will use the phone for emergencies. Most of the elders do not care to use a computer and feel happy enough to continue life in their own pace.

    I still exchange handwritten letters with some of my friends, just for fun. Yes, holding that paper, reading the handwritten words is something else! :) Still, can't say no to technology!

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    1. Yes, the older types still like handwritten letters. Hard to imagine not having a computer these days but there are some that don't. I agree with you about embracing technology but I still have a soft spot for letters. Maybe you and I could exchange letters sometime. I've never had a penpal in India before. That would be fun to get a letter from there.

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  7. What a timely post on letter writing as I as thinking about this just this past week. I love receiving letters and rarely if ever receive one though in the past had one or two penpals. However, though not quite the same, I was considering or considered IM'ing (instant messaging) to be different yet somewhat similar as I have gotten to know one blogger in particular quite well through regular contact. ;) <3

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  8. I miss letter writing. I remember how I would love to get mail from friends and eagerly open it and read it. It's definitely not the same with FB messages etc although it's a lot quicker.

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