A while back, I came across a stack of snail mail letters I had written to my parents years ago (back when the only mail was snail mail.) My mom had saved them, and when she passed away, I brought them home.
Some of the letters were from my college years, from dorm room 543 in Centennial Hall. The letters often began with, “I’m sorry I haven’t written in so long. I”ll try to write more often.” I’m sad to say I didn’t improve much on frequency, but the letters are entertaining.
Many of the letters I found in the stack were later ones that I had written as a young mom, with funny little bits about my kids and things they said. “I love PUDDY!” (My then two year old daughter loved chocolate pudding, with an intensity that only two year olds have.) And, “I’m having so much fun, I forgot all about my hotness.” (She popped out with that on a hot August day at the zoo, when she was five.)
In one of the letters, my son wanted me to make sure my mom and dad knew that he and his sister had been playing king and princess all day. (I don’t remember them ever playing king and princess.) The letters are like little journals – reminders of forgotten things (and a forgotten me.)
I love real mail. I love pretty stationary, handwritten letters, and actual photographs that are tucked inside. (But then, I was once a 12 year old with 7 penpals!) What if those college letters I sent years ago had been emails instead? I guess my mom might have printed them out to read and re-read. I know they would have still been special to her. But there’s just some sweet anticipation about the chance of getting real live mail, isn’t there?
Texting and email are easy and fast, and I love blogging. I can communicate with a lot of people at once. I just hope personal letter writing doesn’t disappear. Maybe I’m just getting old (well, yes…), but I hope real mail will endure. Don’t you?
This post was originally published in 2013 and updated in 2023.
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