A fellow writer and friend recently shared on of her birthday cards with our weekly writing group. Begun over twenty-five years they had passed the same birthday card back and forth with properly dated notes. In time the card had no more room to write and her friend began typing up longer notes and stuffing them inside the card. This has continued for more than twenty-five years. They include all the notes along with the original card with its center fold completely worn through.
When she talked about writing a blog about this event at our writers group I realized that I was jealous of her multi-decade tradition. Once I got home I located and dug out a box of old letters and cards from my basement. I was searching for one particular Christmas card
from my grandmother. Somehow it always showed up on her gift to me the following year – dutifully dated with a short sentence about the joy of the season and how much I’d grown over the year. I remember the card but it may be buried too deeply because I have yet to find it. Perhaps the card is long gone but what has come bubbling up with this memory is the joy I felt each year when I read the card. I assume my mother saved the card along with the wrapping paper which she ironed every year and stashed safely away until the next time. I can imagine my mother grinning when she handed it to her mother in preparation for my next gift.
With that memory brought to light I understand and will cherish the light in my writing friend’s eyes and voice when she shared the birthday card and the 25 years of news and thoughts with us. (Her blog about this can be found at http://www.InTheWritersWeb.com) Seeing her with the envelop full of years of birthday cheer as well as hearing about the touching and joyful handwritten notes she received from her father’s friends R.S.V.P.s to his 90th birthday party which my friend is charge of, all culminate in me recognizing a need to communicate through my hands and words on real paper.
For me there is a profound joy in handwriting a note, it doesn’t have to be more than a few words. It does not have to be pages long. I have decided that these notes should be handwritten and mailed. I will start simply. I will find a blank card or a piece of scratch paper and write a note to one person just saying that I am thinking of them. It does not have to be a special occasion. Though I’m sure when they receive it they will wonder what special occasion prompted my writing to them. I will try to do this once a month. I have put a task on my calendar so I have already blocked out time to write that note. Even if it is only that I am thinking of that person at that time and I wanted them to know.
Who would you write to?