Category Archives: teenage

Take a letter … Maria?

Is this the party to whom I am writing?

I just got done writing a letter to my older sister. Now, she does not do email. Texting. Facebook. Nothing. If it doesn’t have a stamp on it, she can’t read it. No won’t about it. Can’t.

I remember when I used to love corresponding with different friends. My friend Barbara moved from Falmouth, Maine, up the coast to Thomaston, Maine. Our folks couldn’t drive us back and forth to see each other every day (gasp!), so we wrote.

My friend Sabrina moved a whole 20 minutes away from me one year. We were attached at the hip before then. Agony! And so, we wrote. I think we even “taped” our letters on cassette tapes now and then. Anybody here remember cassette tapes? LOL!

Sheryl moved to Boston for college.

Beth moved to North Carolina for a nursing position.

It was no big deal to pick up a pen and write. In fact, it was kind of fun to find different papers and pens to write with. And I loved going to the mailbox and finding a “real” letter! To this day I am still addicted to different pens and papers to write with. If I go to the store with friends, they know where to find me when I disappear.

And I still look forward to getting the mail, just in case.

But now it’s a big deal to pick up a pen and write. And I don’t know what happened to change things. I guess electronic communication is so much easier, faster. You get a more immediate response. And you don’t really have to think about it too much (whiiich can lead to some pretty bad foot-in-mouth snafus, so be careful!). It’s “short attention span theater” at its finest. Not to mention, I have developed a familial tremor that makes it really difficult to write legibly – it’s work!

So what does one write about in a letter?

Oh, there’s the weather. Work. Church. My son. I also go line by line through someone’s letter to see if there are questions or comments they’d want me to address. (See what I did there? address?) And I always try to write something to make people chuckle. Sometimes I will print out a comic or other kind of picture that will make people laugh, or think.

Ok, so I’m not always funny …

Really, it’s the same stuff you’d say on the phone, I guess. Only I’m not really partial to the phone anymore. Used to spend HOURS! on the phone with friends, boyfriends, people I hoped would be boyfriends …

What’s funny is that half the time I’ve just sent a letter out, and that person calls me. Before their letter arrives. And I’m like, I don’t want to tell you anything! It’s in my letter!

Even though my letter writing is pretty rare, and I type it out in Word and print it to send, it’s still pretty mundane. To me, pretty boring; not much to say.

One year my friend Valerie from ninth grade went to camp. I couldn’t live without her during those brief times that she and her family would go during the summer, so we wrote.

One summer, she ended up passing away while at camp, from a long-standing heart problem. It’s funny (not really funny) because that weekend was the only time that she’d invited me to come join her and her family. Mom had said flat out NO, no matter how much I begged, cried, bargained, and cried some more. I mean, Valerie had never asked before! I was so, so angry! Especially when I found out that she’d died, and I knew that, had I been there, I would have been there for her. So much left unsaid. But thankfully, we had written to each other numerous times before then. We had that. And I know God had His reasons for not allowing me to be there. It still hurts, but it’s comforting to know that He knows, and He cares what I care about.

So where my sister is concerned, even though I’d rather just zip off an email or a Facebook message, I write the letters. Fold them up, stick them in an envelope, stick on the stamp, put ’em in the mailbox. Because my letters to her are her love language. And they are just our way of saying, “I love you. I’m thinking of you.”

And that is priceless. Because nowadays, it’s sometimes hard to say, “I love you. I’m thinking of you.”