Dear Bobby (or Cindy or Greg or Marcia or Peter or Jan), Just a note to say I’ve been thinking of you.
And so begin my letters.
A week ago I was in the middle of a scavenger hunt at Home Goods (isn’t that what the place is about?) and found this delightful stationery that put a smile on my face. “What is stationary doing in a home goods store?” you might ask. When you’re away from home because of work, school or ‘cause you’re now a grown up, reading a letter that someone wrote on nice stationary in the almost-forgotten language of handwriting can erase miles and even years, and make one feel, well, at home. At least it does for me.
When I saw the stationary (50 pieces for $4.99, a bargain) I was as excited to fill the note cards, as I am to go for a run when I get a new pair of sneakers. As a writer, my writing is not reserved for blogs or books, but letters too. When my grandmother, Nana Banana as we loved to call her, was alive, I’d write to her every few weeks knowing how happy it made her.
I’m the same way. Finding a personal note in my mailbox amid the bills and solicitations tells me that someone thinks I’m special enough to take time away from their long lists of things to do and write to me. Yes, emails and messages on Facebook are nice, but they’re not the real thing. Not even close.
That evening I returned from Home Goods, sat at my desk with my new stationery, a favorite pen, a roll of stamps and scrolled through my contacts (the ones in my mind, not my smart phone) of folks I hadn’t spoken to in a while. As faces came to me I began to write to those whose friendships mean so much. My goal is to use all fifty cards by the end of the month.
A few days later I received the following two emails within an hour of each other:
I got home from the hospital last night and your note was in the mail. You really put a smile on my face!
How you knew I needed that note, my dear friend, I do not know but you are the best! Love you and call you soon. xoxox
The next day my uncle called. “Papa’s been having trouble sleeping so in the middle of the night be rereads our letters and it cheers him up. Send him a letter.”
“No problem,” I said, stunned by the coincidence. “I’m already on it.”