I do not have a problem with technology. I love that I can text my oldest daughter, who lives in another state, and have instant conversations with her in the midst of doing other things. I am not big on talking on the telephone but I love the ease with which I can get hold of my husband when I want to hear his voice. I love learning new things so keeping up with technology is right up my alley.
But there is something to be said about the old days.
My favorite story that my parents told me as a child was the story of how they met. They actually met through letters. Yes, physical – pen and paper – stamp on the envelope – takes a few weeks to get there – letters. My dad was in the Marines. He was paid every other week, so every opposite weekend he would be looking for cheap things to do since he had run out of money until his next payday. He was bored. Back then writing a letter home was something that helped fill those times. Dad had written to his family and just about everyone else that he knew. A friend of a friend gave him the address of this girl that this man had grown up with. He assured my dad that she would write back even though she had no idea who he was. So he figured, why not? He sat down and introduced himself to this young lady through a simple letter.
But was it a simple letter?
My mom received a letter in the mail several days later from the same Marine base that her childhood friend was at, but the name on the envelope was different and not one that she recognized. Curiosity got the best of her. She was introduced to a southern young man who had just reached out to her for friendship. There was something about that letter. Perhaps it was the fact that her friend had recommended her to this man. Perhaps it was the desire to be a friend to someone serving her country. Knowing what I know about my dad’s writing (let’s just say that he has a gift), it was probably the way that he crafted that letter. She was intrigued enough to sit down and write him back.
Thus began a friendship leading up to a love that hasn’t gone away, even though my mother passed on fourteen years ago.
There was a beauty in letter writing. Not just the act of putting words to paper, but the care that one could take to craft the words into something that would stand the test of time. There is something poignant about putting ones feeling on paper for the recipient to read and re-read. There was also the anticipation of receiving that letter in the mail, opening the envelope and holding the paper in your hands to read it.
My mom kept all of dad’s letters to her. My dad kept all of mom’s letters to him and now he keeps both sets locked away in a cherished spot. Someday, when he has passes on, I hope to inherit those letters and, for just a short time, be able to live in their love story.