Not so long ago, when the word email was still unheard of, people used the good old pen and paper to write letters to loved ones, friends, lovers…
I, for one, enjoyed writing letters. My best friend lives at the other side of the world and the only way to communicate then was thru letter writing. Long distance calls were costly. Plane tickets were even more expensive. So if we wanted to stay friends and be updated with whatever was happening in our lives, we HAD to keep in touch… and the only way to stay in touch was by writing letters and sending them by snail mail.
Ah, snail mail. How so very apt. I remember waiting for at least three weeks before her letter gets to me or my letter gets to her. I think when we got to college, the waiting time decreased to one week… if you want it delivered faster, you can rush mail it — but you will have to pay more for the stamps (if you are a young, non-working person, chances are you have no choice but to just wait for three weeks).
And yet I loved writing letters. I would patiently write down my thoughts, my stories, the recent happenings… Sometimes I end up with 3 pages, sometimes 5. Back to back even. Somehow I wasn’t afraid that my best friend will get bored reading about my blah-blahs… because I know that when she send hers, I will be getting a 5-pager, as well. Truth be told, I have always, always looked forward to reading her letters!
Because of modern technology, we now have email, we have Yahoo and Facebook messages, etc. I believe the good thing about all these is that you get the news in an instant. Somehow it has made the world seem smaller, people you love seem much closer now even though they are physically far away.
Yet I still love reading handwritten letters. Somehow it makes me feel more special — because I know that the person writing took the time to gather his or her thoughts and write them down on paper, where every mistake would mean an erasure or a torn paper. I know there is more work involved in handwritten letters. One does not have the option to do shortcuts. You cannot just press delete when you err. Chances are, you will have to start over.
A handwritten letter, I believe, is a product of love and patience. In this fast and crazy busy world, it is always nice to be reminded that someone, somewhere out there, is taking time out to remember you.
Imagine my thrill when I got this just yesterday…
dated January 23, 2014
And I found this in my cabinet just the other day…
dated May 23, 1996
Some things are truly for keeps.
photos from my Instagram 🙂