In the days of cell phones, email and text messages, letter writing can seem hopelessly outdated. My son recently informed me of his refusal to support the greeting card industry so I should not expect a Mother’s Day card.
Fortunately, I’ve saved a drawer full of handwritten notes from him as well as from his sister:
“Mom, I feel like lately we’ve gotten to be really close and I can talk to you about almost anything.”
To their father:
“I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have you as my dad. I hope you can come and visit me often in Chicago.”
I have no idea how to convey to my child that writing and receiving letters will always offer an experience that modern technology cannot touch. Twitter is fine for broadcasting what you’re eating for lunch, and email is fantastic for quick exchanges of pertinent information. But when it comes to sharing your true thoughts, sincere sympathies, ardent love, and deepest gratitude, words traveling along an invisible superhighway will never suffice. Why?
The impact of handwritten cards and letters lasts far longer than any text or email offered in our high-tech world. Years after they are written and sent (and even after their senders and receivers are gone), letters remain to be read, appreciated and preserved. I love seeing the familiar handwriting of my late grandmother and grandfather on old documents. Letters protect our memories in a way that technological communication cannot. They are tangible, personal and real, in every sense of the word.
Computers and smart phones may prove more efficient, but they can never take the place of this kind of sentimental history.
Letters create lasting memories.
Renee Garrison is the award-winning author of “The Anchor Clankers.”