My wife and I sorted through many boxes of keepsakes one afternoon when I stumbled upon something very special. It had no real value. In fact, most would have thrown it away. But I thank my mom for saving it.
It’s a hand-written letter from my grandpa. It didn’t say much. He was on a trip and told me what he was doing. I must have written him a letter since he started by thanking me for mine. Again, nothing special.
Except I loved this man dearly. When I was young, I was known as Grandpa’s Shadow. He taught me to ride a bike, shoot a gun, and ride a horse. I witnessed the value of hard work through him. Also his heart for family and friends.
He died in 2010. I received some of his things as keepsakes, and I treasure them. But there’s something about seeing his handwriting that brought tears to my eyes.
And that’s the moment I realized the power of the hand-written letter. We are in an age of emails, texts, and Facebook messages. They’re quick, cheap, and the recipient receives it the same day. Often times the same minute. But I can bet each of us love when we go to the mailbox and discover an envelope addressed to us. To see a loved one’s name in the upper left corner. Ripping open the envelope and reading the words somebody penned with their own hand. To not only read their words but touch what they touched. Knowing they spent time in preparing this for you.
And yet, we’ve lost this. Somewhere in our advanced world of technology, the intimacy of a letter was forgotten. I challenge each one to write somebody a letter. Grab a pencil or pen and show them that you truly care. You never know how it may impact them.
Maybe, just maybe, they will find it 25 years later. No longer is it just a letter. But a gift. A treasure. A blessed memory.