Sunday, February 7, 2016

Writing Letters...One Last Time

For the past couple of years I have, along with my scriptures, brought a pad of paper with me when we went to church. I brought the paper and pen so I could write a letter, a letter to my son who is serving a LDS mission.

Today I believe I wrote him a letter for the last time.

This won't be the last time I'll write, but it's the last time I'll use pen and paper. Funny how little we send actual physical correspondence these days.

Thirty years ago I was doing the same thing my son is doing now. I was living across the Atlantic Ocean and, as far as corresponding goes, we had two methods--mailing letters or calling home.

And we never (or hardly ever...) got to call.

So, we relied on the postal services of America and Denmark to get us the letters, cards and packages. We hoped every day that an envelope with our names on it would arrive. Once a week we were given time to write back. When missionaries are first out "in the field," they spend a lot of time writing back to family, friends, girlfriends (or boyfriends...). As time goes, at least it did with me, the number of those to whom you write back decreases. It's just the way of it.

We haven't stopped writing--far from it. I'll bet we write more today than as a society than we did thirty years ago. It's so easy to log on to one's e-mail and send off a message. Getting e-mails is great, but there's something about seeing that letter, knowing someone spent the time to write it and send it in the mail that e-mail cannot possibly duplicate. 

It's a bittersweet thing to address the envelope, adhere the stamp and send the letter on its way. And even though I will be so glad to have him back home with us, I will miss writing him letters. 

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