Many of my readers know I’m passionate about the practice of writing personal handwritten notes. Over the years, I’ve had enough positive feedback from recipients of my notes to know they often make a difference. I believe they make a difference whether I’m acknowledged for them not, because the gesture of taking pen to paper, giving time to thoughtfully compose a note, adding a stamp, and taking it to be mailed all adds up to one beautiful message:
I’m thinking of you and you matter to me.
Two recent examples support this conviction.
One was a good friend who battled cancer long and hard over a period of years. Every few weeks, I’d send him a note of encouragement. Sometimes it was more of a letter, but usually a fairly short note. Others who lived closer did so much more for him than I ever did in the way of visits, meals, and supporting his family. After he died, I told his widow how helpless I’d felt and how much I wished there had been more I could do for him. “Oh no, Elizabeth,” she said, “He kept a basket of notes right by his chair, and often I’d see him re-reading one of yours. They meant the world to him.”
Another was a dear friend from church who, for quite a few years has been taking care of her sweet father, raising her pre-teen granddaughter and very young grandson, and working to support the family. After her father died, she pulled me aside after church. “Elizabeth, I just have to tell you that I was cleaning out the house this week and sorting through all the cards we’ve received over the last couple of years. It seemed like every other one was from you! Some were to Daddy. Some were to me. Some were to the children. I re-read every one and it was like getting a hug from you all over again.”
Now here’s the kicker: I don’t really write that many notes!
I go days without writing notes. Then I might write one note and the next day I’ll write several. But since so few people write personal notes, when I do write one, the recipient remembers it, because they aren’t receiving many personal notes either.
“Last year the typical home received a personal letter about every seven weeks, according to the annual survey done by the post office,” reports Stacy Anderson in a 2011 article for the Huffington Post. “As recently as 1987 it was once every two weeks. That doesn’t include greeting cards or invitations.”
Here’s the bottom line: Every personal handwritten note you write will stand out. Every one makes a difference. Every one will be remembered…and cherished…and re-read.
You know you love getting them yourself. Why not send a little love by mail today?