Letter From The Past

I remember years ago when my older children were just babies, I use to write regularly to friends, keeping in contact and catching up with their lives.

They were my contact with the outside world; it was a way of staying connected to others, when my own days were full of nappies, night feeds, no sleep and my battle with post natal depression.

It was a bit of a buzz to hear the postman ride past on his motorbike, and discover that he had left mail in our mail box.

Contained within the bulging envelopes were pages of hand written letters, photos, gifts and special mementos lovingly picked out for no other reason other than friendship and love.

Back then I took it all for granted, all those letters that friends had sat down and carefully written out.  Their words penned on paper, brimming with news, how they felt and where their lives were at. Some on pretty stationary, some just on plain lined paper, and one was on what looked like her shopping list note paper, as that day she needed to write to me and that was all she could find.

It of course meant waiting for several weeks sometimes, to receive mail after sending my own letters, but in a strange way made it all the more special.

Now some of those friends have gone their own way, and it is a rarity to hear from them.  Others have discovered the instant gratification of not just email, but texting as well. None of this is the same as hand written letters, now there is no human touch to some of my friends who live far away from me.

I really do miss receiving letters in the mail, now it’s just bills, junk, reminders and school notes telling me something one of my sons has done...again.

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21 Responses Feb 21, 2010

I know I'm dating myself here....but there is nothing more personal than a handwritten letter. Most everything now is condensed in forms...even when you speed you receive a ticket in the mail :). Recently I had to tie up those loose ends when someone passes. I received the standard forms by mail , I had a story but all I had was multiple choice yes or no. I can't really explain it other than the fact that form made me feel so anonymous, so along with the standard form went my handwritten letter. I was surprised (in a good way) to see that the power of the written word is still alive. I received quite a response and more help than I could have imagined. My handwritten letter made me real..

You should consider publishing the letters in a book. I am the author of 34 books and have worked as a ghostwriter on numerous projects. You can get a book contract and a nice "advance check" from the publisher when you create the book proposal: one page summary, two sample chapters, author bio and a marketing plan. John Riddle, Founder of I Love To Write Day

The title is "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter."<br />
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I found a good sesame street video of it, with Fats Waller!<br />
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This story reminds me of a favorite song. I like to sing and play it at the piano. <br />
<br />
I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter<br />
And make believe it came from you<br />
I'm gonna write words oh so sweet<br />
They're gonna knock me off my feet<br />
A lotta kisses on the bottom<br />
I'll be glad I got 'em<br />
<br />
I'm gonna smile and say<br />
I hope you're feeling better<br />
I'll close with love the way you do<br />
I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter<br />
And I'm gonna make believe it came from you

I also love handwritten letters and also have a big box of them going back many years. As much as I appreciate the immediacy of emails, they just don't warm my heart like reading an old letter does.<br />
Lovely story! :).

lol. I'll have to include a dyslexia de-coder. I used to write lots of letters but never sent them because once I had reread them, I was too embarassed by all the mistakes that I just threw them in the bin :(

I can promise that WG's writing is very legible no matter how she does it. And the dyslexia might be less than with typing too?

I would love to! I'll have to practise my bestest writing for you though ;) Hey, do you print or do grown-up writing? lol

Will you write me a letter Lilly?? :)

I do have some old letters. They are from my sister. Yes, they are a gem.

I was just bugging you, girl.... ;)

Lilly...did you just call me one of the "older people"??? LOL!!! ;) <br />
Fine...getting old...don't want to really... :(

Love my own writing, Lills...and most people I know like it, too...I hope LOL... I had Writing/Penmanship/Calligraphy classes from Grades 1-6. Had to be the style of the school...had to be scribbled with loops...had to be rounded...blah-blah-blah...so the fruits of it, better penmanship. The style is fashioned depending which (all-girls) school you come from. It's interesting when you meet someone later on in life, in uni, for example...and you know right away where she finished high school because of the penmanship.<br />
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And yes, I love handwritten letters. It's just more personal. Nowadays, we call them snail mail.

night Lil.

No, I hate mine. But it keeps changing...see, says a lot about the person ;)

I like reminiscing too Lilly... funny I wonder if some day in future I'll ever reminisce about email someone sent. Hmmm....

Roj was a great letter writer. He used to have many penpals, one of which we still visit. She is a complete romantic, still loves hand written letters and is in denial about the use of email or any other modern communication form (other than the telephone). Roj and her have had lengthy discussions about the pros and cons of letter writing. Just thought I'd throw that info in....<br />
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I wonder what your handwriting is like Lilly. They say that you can tell a lot about a person from their handwriting....one of the nice things about EP really!

R.J. i agree the scent..personal uniqueness of the writing..etc ..yes! :O) hi there hope ur doing well! hugs..

Pragmatism Lilly - have to enjoy what you're getting!!!

Strange how mail became less interesting with the prospect of few personal letters. Email, on the other hand, now much more interesting! Ditto for EP PMs... though a bit of scent and some interesting stationary and handwriting would be nice...

I lov this story..letters written are very dear.(real care,lov! from special ones).....i sav each any everyone...nothing like a rainy day taking them out..with a cup of mint tea.T.U. Lilly...hugs