Writing a letter is a process that requires thought, patience, time and effort. When I receive a handwritten letter in the mail this is what I know has happened.

 

--Someone liked me enough to become my friend.

--They put up with me  long enough to get to the letter writing day

--They thought about me on the letter writing day

--They thought about what they wanted to say

--They decided that thought was worthy of a letter

--They were aware what they were writing would be permanent

--They had to buy some paper to write the letter on

--They had to buy a pen or pencil to write with

--They had to carve out time to sit down and write the letter

--They had to find a place to write the letter

--They had to physically write every word in the letter

--They had to wonder what I would think of the letter

--They had to buy an envelope to put the letter in

--They had to put the letter in the envelope

--They had to seal the envelope

--They had to write the address on the envelope

--They had to buy a stamp to put on the envelope

--They had to place the stamp on the envelope

--They had to walk to the mailbox or drive to the post office

--They had to place the letter in the mailbox

--They had to wait several days on me to receive the letter

--They had to wonder if I would write them back

--They had to wait for me to acknowledge receiving the letter

 

           Receiving a handwritten letter reminds me I am important to someone and particularly so on those days when the world has made me feel small, insignificant or forgotten.

          Handwritten letters are treasures buried in the sea of junk mail and bills which seem to be the primary inhabitants of mailboxes these days.

          Letters can be rediscovered again and again as the years go by increasing in value each time you read them like frozen moments of time unique to the sender and the receiver.

          They can make you laugh, cry, fall in love, mourn, contemplate life, remember, hope, dream, inspired, rejoice, keep trying, feel every emotion possible and maybe most important of all, appreciate.

          Martin Luther King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ changed the fate of an entire race of people, altered the course of history for the most powerful nation the world has ever known and gave hope to all of mankind.

          Thirty years from now I most likely will not be alive. If I am, I will probably be financially poor because of my choice to follow a passion which doesn’t guarantee a monetary pay off. In turn my possessions will be few.

          What I will have are some memories no one can ever take from me and a ragged old shoe box containing this treasure…a letter from a friend.

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