What Happens When We Stop Sending Love Letters?
I smile every time I hear a story about shoeboxes of love letters between couples. I’m talking about those letters from their romance of days gone by. Or how about loving letters between parents or grandparents and the children they loved back when snail mail was the only mail. Think of opening those letters years later to read the loving thoughts they contained. The thought of it makes me smile. It feels warm.
One example that moves me is a letter hanging on the wall, framed, at one of my friends’ homes. It is a letter from a young man in college to his grandmother - written many decades ago. The young man wrote the letter during his college days. It starts with an update about school and activities, but then transitions into girls. He says something like: he has met girls, but "no girl holds a candle to Karen." His grandma saved the letter. The young lovebirds married and had three children. His grandma saved the letter which became the keystone in the couple’s home. Filled with honesty and warmth, the letter has become part of their family history. Their grandchildren will read the letter that their grandfather wrote to his grandmother about his love for Karen - their grandma. The framed letter is a constant reminder of the love the boy had for the girl…and from that love a whole family grew.
Flash forward to today. Texting and social media are the norm. A loving thought is often sent fast and then lost or buried in a stream. Or it is designed to disappear. Either way, it is gone. It doesn’t become part of the fabric of a relationship like that framed letter or the letters tucked away in a closet. The history and rooting vanish. When times are hard or we need a reminder about the love we have shared, where do we look for the thoughts and feelings? Sure we can find photos in the cloud, but where are the thoughts, the ones you might write privately? It feels empty in comparison.
Written notes whether short or long seem to come alive. They root and grow. They inspire and provide comfort. They make you laugh. They provide context. – All of that is a true gift. I’m thankful for the people in my life who have written me letters and notes with loving thoughts.
That is why I am passionate about guided journals. They give you a place to jot your thoughts down. The really good ones about the people you love. A special space. And they become a roadmap for your loved ones to follow when they find themselves lost in the clutter of today - and tomorrow. They know exactly where to look to find your words/your thoughts/your guidance. However you do it, please write it down!