Just a hand written note!

The pre-email method of communication often comes up in Posts and conversations, and I have rarely heard it/read it in a specifically positive or negative context, but more as simple nostalgia. The emphasis would usually be on seeing a person’s handwriting, or just reviewing old letters. Whereas emails can of course be printed out to at least save the message, I wonder how many of you actually do that. Emails can be saved for “whenever” on your device, but a bug, virus, device crash, or simple carelessness, can erase it forever. “Today” is very different from “Yesterday”!

In the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, Melanie (in her late teens) had worked out most of her “adjusting to the real world” issues, and became very sensitive to her friends when they were having “difficulties”. I understand that “Come over and talk to my Dad” was not an uncommon message from her.

We had a family live just down the road who originated from Argentina. We never really got to know them very well, but they had a daughter who was close to Melanie’s age and they were soon friends. The father seemed to rule the home, and because his wife worked, he expected his daughter to take care of the cooking, cleaning and laundry when she was not at school.

Not surprisingly, the daughter was often totally exhausted and (being a teenager) would express herself to her Dad periodically which only aggravated the situation. Nothing was going to change. She was talking about this to Melanie, and happened to mention that if she could find somewhere outsideΒ  of her home to just chill for a while occasionally, it would be so much easier to cope. “Come over and talk to my Dad!”

We gave her an open invitation to just come in whenever she felt a need, and we could either talk, or leave her with her thoughts. Her choice. She dropped by on a regular basis for quite a long time… but one day…

I was coaching a running group during this time frame, and had converted a small room into an office where all the associated work could be done. I was in the office early one afternoon during a weekend when I heard the front door open… and then a familiar voice “Hi Colin! It’s only me, I just need to use your sofa for a while. I have to sleep!” “Okay Ari” I replied “No problem”.

Perhaps an hour (or just over) later, I heard “Thanks Colin. I really needed that.” and I heard the front door once again as she left. A short time later, we found this note:

1990-ariadna-note

As far as I know, that note is the only personal thing that we have to remind ourselves of Ari. Of course we have a number of photos which are very important to us but, that note is priceless! I really cannot see how an email would have the same impact so, my thought for today is really simple – If you have an important message to convey to somebody close to you, then consider hand writing it. You may never see it again but, it may well be placed in a box somewhere and re-read 20 or 30 (or more) years down the road. It may bring a smile of happy memories to somebody’s face.

It may be just a handwritten note… but who can possibly predict it’s future?

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36 thoughts on “Just a hand written note!

    • It really is so important to keep that “personal touch”, although I suspect that our world is becoming more and more impersonal. I really hope that I am wrong because if that personal association is lost, I am not sure that the outcome would be particularly positive.

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    • You are very welcome. It would seem to me that all too often we get caught up in our hi-tech; hi-speed and rather superficial world. Suddenly, that penciled hand writing on a page from a small note pad can have incredible significance. πŸ™‚

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  1. I love sooooo much about this post!

    Beginning with “Melanie (in her late teens) had worked out most of her β€œadjusting to the real world” issues, and became very sensitive to her friends when they were having β€œdifficulties”. I understand that β€œCome over and talk to my Dad” was not an uncommon message from her.

    Colin – I hope you feel pride in the fact that your daughter felt she could say this, and that her friends took her up on it.

    And that note! So precious. There is nothing like receive a handmade or handwritten note. It is becoming so rare making it all the more precious.

    This so warms my heart, and it endears me to you even more! ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a precious note to still have!
    I have several folded and refolded and refolded again letters and notes in my cedar chest. You are right once again, there is something very special about a handwritten note that can’t be compared.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a letter from the single parent of a 14 year old boy I fostered for a fortnight for respite. The woman was known for never saying thank you or having a good word to say about any of the social workers. But I had a letter.
    It is priceless, and conveys to me the untold side of fostering, the rewards it can bring, and the faith a mother had in me, a complete stranger, to look after her son enough to say ‘Thank You’.

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  4. A lovely heart-warming story. πŸ™‚
    I so agree and miss the regular letter writing I used to share years gone by with my Mum. It’s just so nice to receive mail to read and reread often, and as you say, the handwriting is all part of the pleasure.

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  5. Handwritten notes are such gifts now.
    That one is special. (Goes to show we never know what even small things we do have big impact on others)
    Hand written notes have the person’s DNA embedded in them as well as their thoughts. They are alive no matter how many years pass between readings. It takes effort and muscles to form those letters – and seemingly more thought than email to formulate something that takes longer to do and doesn’t disappear with a click.
    It will be a challenge to suggest to the younger generation that there is value in practicing handwriting and taking time to create snail mail.
    With our ancient family members, I found nothing is more pleasing to an older relative than to get a letter, no matter how short that you took the time to sit down and write. They can hold it in their hands, show it to everyone, and tell others on the phone. Can only hope if time is taken for them, that someone will do the same to me in the future.
    Great post

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Karen. Based on the responses so far to this Post, there is an overwhelming acknowledgment of the value of a handwritten note/letter. Whereas I am very comfortable, and supportive, of our current technology and its obvious convenience, I would to think that both methods of communication can co-exist such that future generations can experience the feelings being expressed. Sadly, while I can make an effort to hand write periodically, I am not sure that the current teens/early 20’s are seeing any value to it.

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  6. What a great compliment from not only Ari but more so from your daughter who would confidently offer up her dad as a good person to talk with. And yes, letters and notes. Until recently I would still get snail mail from my mom – now 95 with onset of dementia- that was a hand written note in a card, a newspaper article with her comments, or just a small note paper with her thoughts. I do miss that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Michael. Given the importance of notes to you (and me), this is perhaps a good time to to review your (my) current method of communicating. Perhaps we should write more notes, and perhaps they will give just as much pleasure to somebody in the future! πŸ™‚

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    • Michael, My mom use to cut out newspaper articles for me and send through the snail mail. I think of the time to get those scissors, cut the article, and then address envelope, stamp it, mail it. All of it so she could share a little something with me. Now a days, I just send to my children by way of email the link to an article online that they can read. Much quicker, but not as personal.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. The impact of hand-written notes is profound! I moved a few months back and when I opened a box while packing it in, I stumbled upon letters written to me by my grandpa – barely a few months before he passed away. They are tangible proof that he existed and loved me! I get this post.. So much.

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    • What a lovely story. Thanks so much Prajakta for sharing. Now, in our current culture of electronic messaging, we must remember the value of handwritten notes. Perhaps somebody would love to see our handwriting after we have gone.

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  8. Beautiful message. You hit home with this one. I keep a little shoe box in my closet with notes I get. In particular my uncle (age 93) and I travel usually go on 2 trips a year. Every time we return from the trip, he sends me a nice little note with a big thank you for taking him on an adventure. I treasure those handwritten notes. No big hallmark cards, no flair just an honest written note on a small piece of paper.

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