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 outside 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:
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? Food for thought.