I LOVE to write letters and send cards.
I love the speed and convenience of texting and emailing, and I think technology is an amazing thing, but sometimes there are things that need to be said in a more meaningful way.
When I was a brand new member of the Church, I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting. I have no idea what I spoke about, but I know I was totally nervous. A few people were very kind to come up to me after the meeting and tell me that I did a great job. And then a few days later, I received a letter in the mail from a woman in the ward that I hardly knew. I was so touched by the fact that she would take the time to write to me personally. I felt important and loved and I felt the sincerity of the things she said. I still have that letter.
Because of that experience, I have looked for opportunities over the years to write actual letters to people. There's always a reason to write something nice to someone. I've written to thank people for their talks or lessons in church. I've written to children who have done things I appreciate. I've written to teachers and friends and people I love. I'm sure I've written thousands of letters over the years. I haven't received responses to most of them. But that part doesn't matter as much. What matters is that those people know that they are on my mind for whatever reason and that I love them.
My children have become letter writers. Every week they write to their friends in Mendon. I know that their letters make a difference to their friends and that those friendships are stronger even though they've been separated by thousands of miles for almost a year. Our kids write letters all the time. We have found them on our pillows at night. Sometimes their notes say "I love you" or "sorry" or "thanks" for something.
Sometimes they're more like persuasive essays than letters...like the one TCD wrote to convince us she needed her own phone.
They write letters to their teachers and to their friends at school or to people in the neighborhood.
Last weekend, Mack and two of his friends were jumping off ramps with their bikes. One of the other boys went flying over the handlebars and broke his collar bone. He was in the ER until late Saturday night and Mack was quite distressed over the whole thing. He woke up Sunday morning and wanted to know if he could take a card and some candy over to his friend. Since we were all headed to church, I asked him to wait. But even with the shoe trauma, he didn't forget that note. Immediately after we walked in the door, he asked one of his sisters to help him get some paper and he wrote a note to his friend. Then he climbed up on the counter in the kitchen to find what I thought was my hidden candy stash (apparently I'll have to find a new hiding place), and he announced that he was going next door. I have no idea what the note said, but his mom told me later how much her son appreciated the note...even more than the M&Ms!
I'm glad to know that my children came with that same innate letter writing desire that I have. I hope we all keep listening for those promptings to write and that we keep acting on them.