The amazing invention of social networking via the Internet has revolutionized communication. We can enter instantly into the world and lifestyle of just about anyone who's willing to post images and blogs detailing daily activities. Yet, what about the "old-fashioned" way of sending warm wishes next door or across the miles. Of course I am referring to writing messages of congratulations, expressing condolences or sharing private notes via the U.S. mail.
When my late father was very ill many years ago, he used to wait for the mail to be delivered. Knowing that one of his children, grandchildren or friends would have sent him a special card was a temporary tonic for a man in such a debilitated physical state. Seeing two or three cards on his lunch tray would really brighten his spirits. My mom would read the cards to him, sometimes over and over. The validation of the affection others felt for him sometimes made him smile. On other occasions he would tear up for a few moments.
Keeping with this theme, I enjoy looking for and collecting greeting cards to keep on hand. Writing a personal message in my own handwriting to someone special in my life brings considerable joy and peace of mind. By doing so, I am making a deliberate effort to put all my pre-occupations aside and to focus on that one individual. Conveying my thoughts and feelings openly in the context of a personal note is a unique experience. The emotions captured during the creation of the message cannot be duplicated. Nor can they be reduced to snippets of prose and shared with the masses.
In a large box in our home, there must be 1,000 notes and cards written over a 30-year period by my mother who, thankfully, is still with us. One day not long ago, I ventured downstairs and selected a few cards at random. What I found was a chronicle of what can best be described as words of encouragement, descriptions of daily events, quotes from scripture, news from our home town and outpourings of love and affection. Priceless.
I don't expect those who have received and will continue to receive my cards to keep them in a large box. That's not the point. My prayer is that the recipients of my cards and notes will understand that the words are genuine and from the heart. Sometimes, during particularly difficult times, I am prone to pull out a few neatly tucked away cards to reread them. Upon recognizing the distinct handwriting, I am able to conjure up vibtrant images of friends and family members as their words are recreated. And so I continue to send impromptu cards and will do so regardless of the price of postage stamps! It's another "random act of kindness" which, for me, is here to stay.