I miss seeing your face in the mornings.~ Love and hugs, Mom
You won't believe how much weight she's lost this past year!~ Loads of love, M
I can't wait till April, when I can see you again.~ Tons of hugs, V
How I miss receiving a handwritten letter through the post! That twinge of anticipation, succeeded by uncontrolled glee when you see your name, scrawled by a loved one, is pure, veritable joy!
Back in the day, before the advent of the now-ubiquitous e-mail, I used to write and receive letters, birthday cards, little love notes and secret messages scribbled in haste. I had the worst handwriting possible, but that never stopped me from writing, nor did it , in any way, stem the flow of responses from my loyal letter-writing companions.
My days spent in a college dormitory were made better , as I waited for each Friday, to bring me that reassuring letter from mom. My years away from good friends were soothed by the regular rounds of witty and naughty updates from them. My few weeks apart from my beloved were enhanced by his faithful, regular and uncharacteristically long letters, which I have preserved to this day!
As I watch Gy grow up in the gadget era, I realise that there is one thing that she will never know.
She will never know the fidgeting impatience of a 10-year-old, hopping from one foot to the other, waiting for the postman to arrive with the birthday cards.
She will never experience the heart-stopping moment where she opens the door to a telegram being delivered.
And she will never sense that feverish eagerness of young love, exchanging letters of longing while the two hearts are apart.
All she needs to do now is click on a text message or an e-mail. Don't get me wrong; I am all for change. I believe in saving the environment and using lesser paper, as a consequence.
But I don't want her to lose her sense of wonder. I want her to feel that moment of absolute joy, when she gets an unexpected, handwritten note. I want her to touch and savour the written word, as it stares back at her from a loving sheet of paper.
And, so, every once in a while, I slip a note into her bag, her pencil-case or her snack box, making sure she is in the dark about the whole plan.
The day I sent this note, she came home, beaming, and gave me a bear hug. She said that 'everyone at her table' wanted to read the note.
I know that letter-writing is a dying art. I know that we have very little time to sit and write things by hand. And yet, if we can make the effort, every now and then, maybe, just maybe, we can carve a bigger piece in our child's happy memories.