Remember letters? The old, handwritten, fold into an envelope, and put a stamp on it to send it on its way kind of letter? The pour your heart onto the page kind of letter? The become a friend with someone in a far away and enticingly different place kind of letter? The keep in touch with your best friend who moved away kind of letter? The let your mom know you are OK even though you miss home kind of letter? The pledge your true love, scent it with perfume and seal it with a kiss kind of letter? The update the family kind of letter? The write every day, hate being miles apart, can’t wait until we are together kind of letter? The here’s a peek into my everyday life kind of letters?
I remember letters. I was an ardent writer of letters. My first correspondence was when I wrote to my best friend after her dad got a new job and their family moved away. I wrote to friends I met at church camp every summer. I had a pen pal in England I corresponded with for years, two girls in different worlds. Letters were such a part of my growing-up years.
When college took me away from home, there were letters to Mom and Dad. Long distance phone calls were expensive then, few and far between. Letters let everyone know how much I loved college life, and how much I missed my family. Later, when I was married and military life took us to the other side of the world, letters kept my life-long family ties strong and helped create binding ties with my husband’s family.
I still have shoe boxes full of love letters my husband and I wrote…our early courtship was in letters. We met at a church retreat in North Carolina. He was from Georgia, and I was from Indiana. Through letters, we decided to go to the same college and give our relationship a chance in person. When we got married, he was in the Air Force and was stationed overseas. There were months of daily letters until I could join him there. Later, when he was an Army chaplain, there were other overseas assignments, and more daily letters. So many letters, treasured and saved in shoeboxes. Opened and reread every now and then through the years. A lasting, tangible piece of life together since he died.
I remember letters. Gradually, e-mail and Facebook and everyone with unlimited long distance on their cell phones seem to have taken the place of letters. But there is still a special, unique feeling that floods my heart when that rare moment occurs and I pull an envelope with my name and address in a friend’s handwriting out of my mailbox or when I sit down and fill a page with my own handwriting to send to a friend. I miss letters.