The Value of a Handwritten Letter

The Value of a Handwritten Letter

Bringing back a soon-to-be ancient art form.
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In a day and age where convenience trumps sentiment, we're settling for the bare minimum when it comes to communication and emotional expression. There is a reason why your mother always made sure you wrote thank-you notes after every birthday. There's a reason why getting a letter in the mail is so exciting. Writing someone a letter is the rawest and most genuine way of showing them the importance of the words you have to say. It is a truly unique way to show someone how much they mean to you.

The great thing about handwritten notes or letters is that they don't have to be anything fancy to be meaningful. A messily-written ramble on a piece of scratch notebook paper can mean just as much as a beautiful, calligraphic letter written on the finest stationary. They both say, "You're important to me, and I wanted to take the time to write down these thoughts so that you can hold onto them forever." As the old saying goes, "It's the thought that counts," (not the handwriting). It can be a three-page love letter, or a simple, two-sentence note – no matter the length, there's something special about getting words from a loved-one in the form of a physical, handwritten message.

One of my favorite things about handwritten letters is that you can keep them for however long you want, and revisit them at any time. A screenshot of a sweet text doesn't quite measure up. There is emotion and passion behind hand-forged sentences. With every wisp of ink, you can feel the essence of its writer.

Unfortunately, this method of communication is seriously underrated today. As I once told a friend, "Split-message texts are the love letters of the 21st century," and unfortunately, that's the truth. We're saving screenshots to our camera roll instead of precious letters in a shoe box. We're replacing thoughtful little notes with kissy-face emojis and telling ourselves that the sentiment is the same.

Our generation is all about speed and convenience. But, to be honest, sometimes you have to slow down to show someone how much you care.

Want to show your significant other how much you love him/her? Write down how you feel about them in a letter and seal it with a kiss. Want to show your mom how much you appreciate her? Leave a thankful note for her in the kitchen. Mail a funny card to your friend who lives across the state/country/world just to let them know you're thinking about them. I promise you it will mean much more than you know.

While phone calls and text messages are easy ways of letting someone know you're thinking of them, there is magic in the permanence of a physical, handwritten note. So go get out a pen and a piece of paper, and write a letter to someone you care about. Maybe we can start re-filling each other's boxes with sweet sentiments, and leave the texting for making plans.

Cover Image Credit: theguardian.com

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Batter Up

Because someone needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat a woman.

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I have this memory from when I was younger,

I must have been six, maybe seven? An age

When you can remember, but not quite

Understand. I remember the landline

Ringing sometime in the middle

Of the night in my grandmother's small,

But adequate house. I had been sleeping,

Tucked under a shield of satin covers,

My grandmother next to me, blanketless,

And stiff, on the very edge of the queen mattress

Like she was anticipating some sort of disaster.

It wasn't the phone that pulled me from my sleep,

It was my grandmother's instant jerk, her eyes

Flipping open quicker than a light switch,

The mattress springing back up, adjusting

To the new lightness as she fled the room. My waking

Was soft like a song. Slow and humane.

My eyes adjusting to the dark, my ears absorbing the ringing,

My mind reminding itself that I was at my grandmother's house.


Then, the ringing stopped;

Abrupt, like a disarmed fire alarm.

It was just a drill, I thought.

But, then I heard the mumbling

From behind the door, panicked mumbling.

Rapid, like gunfire. My grandmother's Rs

Rolling down the hallway and under the door crack.

She only spoke Spanish when she was angry.


The call ended, my grandmother returned to the room,

Wrapped me in a blanket, and carried me into the night.

She buckled me into the backseat of her Toyota and said,

We were going to Auntie Mandy's house because someone

Needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat

A woman.


When we arrived at the house, we found the front door

Wide open, the house lights spilling out onto the porch.

A truck, I had seen once before, was parked a foot away

From the front door, aggressive. The truck had trampled

Over the dandelions and daisies, which lay wounded

In the front yard. A scene that begged for investigation.


My grandmother told me to stay put in my seat.

I watched as she walked to the back of the car, her normally pretty

Face turned straight, looked masculine. I watched as she pulled

Something wooden out of her trunk, then in her feline walk,

Approached the house. She turned to me, and I saw the

Baseball bat, immense in her female hands.


I slouched in my seat, the window above my head.

I never saw her go into the house.


I don't remember how long I sat,

Until the red and blue lights came.

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