Follow by Email

Monday, October 7, 2013

Handwritten Letters

Although I email a lot (along with other electronic communication) and phone occasionally, I do still write letters to some of my friends and family. My handwriting is terrible, but I do the best I can. Why? Because I think handwritten letters are special.

I've saved many letters over the years, and when I look at them again they bring the letter-writer right back into my mind, even those who have passed on. When I see my mother's handwriting, I can hear her voice. When I read a friend's letter, I can picture as she was back at the time when she wrote it.

When I was growing up, it was a thrill to get a letter in the mail addressed to me. I still feel that way. I love actual cards, be they birthday, Christmas or whatever, much better than ecards. I can put a real, paper card on the mantle and enjoy it every time I look in that direction. While emails can be saved (and I do save certain ones), it is not the same. They are hidden away. And most people delete their emails as soon as they have read them.

Handwritten letters and cards often contain family and friendship history. Years later letters can be discovered by future generations that will tell them something about the past. But no one is going to look through ancient emails, even if by some chance years from now they could still be read by future computers and electronic devices.

I have letters from my mother dating back to when I first moved away from home. I have letters from my husband written to me before we were married. I even have a letter from an author of a series of favorite books that I read when I was growing up.

My grandmother saved her correspondence, and there is a "letter" from me written when I was very young, before I could actually write. It looks like a row of ocean waves. But I was trying!

Of course, there are stashes of Valentine's and Mother's Day cards that I gave my mother when I was growing up and that my daughter gave to me.

Emails and such are fun, but handwritten cards and letters are pure gold.

10 comments:

  1. So true. My mother has beautiful writing. Handwriting was a skill in her day and it's lovely to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And it's sad that cursive isn't even being taught in many schools today!

      Delete
  2. I used to love waiting for the mail to arrive in hopes of a letter. Years ago I joined International Penpals and still have several of my pen friends to this day (although I have to admit we mostly just exchange emails, now). Nice post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's wonderful that you're still in touche with your pen pals, even if it is through emails. :)

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A great post! There is something so emotional about seeing handwriting, especially if it's a loved one's that has passed on. And if our public school doesn't teach cursive, I'll teach it to my son myself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you, Leandra. It is too sad to think of cursive handwriting disappearing entirely!

      Delete
  5. I do miss handwritten letters. They are so much more personal.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Real penmanship, I'm told, used to be taught for many years, not ending in the third grade, as is now the practice.
    You reminded me to write (with a pen!) to the one much older relative I have who doesn't Email. She's keeping my penmanship skills...
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete