By: Sandra L. Churchill
Call it the Pride and Prejudice-loving, timeless romantic in me, but there is nothing so endearing and charming as a hand-written letter. A note of encouragement, get-well card, or just-because friendship letter, thoughtfully penned and snail-mailed, is such a testament from one human to another that he or she matters.
The mom in me never tires of any letter, card, or note from any of my children. The just-because notes from my adult daughters never cease to stir tears of joy and gratitude and help us feel connected when in-person time is not always possible. The hand-drawn valentines from long ago are still among my most cherished possessions, and the current cards from my teenage son and husband continue to lift my spirits and convey love and appreciation.
In continuing COVID times of social distancing, cautionary mask-wearing, and limited get-togethers, letters pose an even greater value in their power to make us feel loved, connected, valued.
My mom just endured an extremely involved surgery for pancreatic cancer where sections of her pancreas and stomach were removed, along with her gall bladder. The seven-hour surgery was complex and painful, and the looming six months of chemo and radiation are difficult and at times, overwhelming — not only for my mom, but for all of us who love her. She couldn’t have visitors in the hospital. She is high-risk for COVID, so visitors at home are nearly non-existent. But she needs to feel the love and support and prayers that surround her, and we wanted more than just phone calls to share this care and compassion.
Social media to the rescue! I am blessed and grateful to live in a wonderful community, brimming with friends, neighbors, prayer-warriors, fellow parents, teachers, and acquaintances who generously responded when I asked for notes and cards for my beautiful mom as she recovers. The joy of mail!
Beyond the lovely and supportive cards from her daughters and granddaughters, grandsons and sons-in-law, were these amazing notes of prayer and cheer shared by our community members who took the time, care, and stamps, to write my mom a note of healing and joy. Words cannot express not only her gratitude, but mine.
In a world filled with negative headlines and selfish actions, it can be tough sometimes to remember the good. But we must embrace the good, noticing and cherishing it day to day. Beyond a caring text or thoughtfully-crafted email, a good old-fashioned letter can restore hope that somebody noticed, somebody cared, somebody is thinking of you. On the coldest and darkest of days, a bright bit of cheer can be wrapped in a pink or yellow notecard. And that timeless gift extends so far beyond the cost of a card and stamp… it bespeaks of human kindness, compassion, and tenderness, lovingly wrapped and sealed with the lick of an envelope.