I got two letters in the mail yesterday.
I did a happy dance, right there at the mailbox.
"So?" you say, "What's so special about two letters?"
Don't you get it?
Letters. You know, where someone takes up a pen, finds some decent writing paper and starts with "Dear Molly." Someone you actually know --- mom, dad, aunt, niece, cousin, sister, friend?
Well, let me put it another way....
When was the last time you got a letter in the mail?
Yes, I know all about e-mails and texts and two hundred and seventy five friends on Facebook and
tweeting and twittering, which I leave to the birds....But when was the last time someone wrote you a letter? Addressed to you in someone's unique handwriting? To only you, not everyone in their "contacts" list. And after they wrote it, they looked up your address, then found an envelope, stuck a stamp on one corner and a return address label [of which we all have millions] on the other, then carried it to the mailbox and dropped it in. All this in addition to what was written between "Dear So-and-So" and "Love from Such-and-Such."
Yeah, that kind of letter!
It doesn't happen much anymore. Which is why I did my happy dance. You would too, I'm sure. And two in one day? That called for a Tango and a Cha-Cha!
I made a cup of tea, got through the junk mail and curled up on the couch to read, purring like a cat.
The first was from Kimmie's mom. After I wrote the post about Kimmie, I decided to drop Sarah a line. Our lives have drifted in different directions now and are pretty much reduced to a card at Christmas. But I wanted to let her know I still think of Kimmie and remember her sweet smile. She said it meant a lot to have someone talk about Kimmie and remember her. Even though her life is full now with two grown sons and seven grandchildren, there are not too many who remember, or even knew her precious daughter.
The second was from Marilyn, a friend I've know since before Lily was born. When my dad was dying and I had to rush home to Ireland from California, it was Marilyn who stepped up and helped the OC take care of four month old Lily. You don't forget that kind of gesture. Now that our children are grown, we regularly e-mail, and swap books and interesting articles, but once in a while, because we're unashamedly old-fashioned, we sit down and write a real letter.
End of story?
Do you believe, as I am more and more inclined to, that there is no such thing as co-incidence?
My e-mail last night had a new set of TED talks. One of them was by a young woman, Hannah Brencher. Her talk was on Love Letters To Strangers. You should watch it. It moved me to tears.
I watched it several times and each time noticed an idea or phrase I hadn't picked up on the first time. It made me remember how good I used to be about staying in touch through letters, and how lazy I've become. It made me realize there are people in my life who are very are important to me.
Important enough to write them a letter?
"You betcha!" as they say in Minnesota.
And now, would you like to join Sarah, Marilyn, Hannah and me in a happy dance?