I used to be a letter-writing machine. Seriously. I was the model pen pal. After camp, my mom always bought me a roll of stamps. An entire roll. She knew how much letter writing I would do. I wrote letters to my brother’s girlfriend because I wanted her to think I was cool. I wrote notes to my grandmother and even to my friends in high school. In college, we had a campus mail system where you could send notes or letters or candy to your friends. I took full advantage of this. I wrote my friends notes to make them laugh. I sent a watermelon via campus mail one time with a note attached. I even scored a date with my future hubby because of my letter-writing skills. I also sent a thank you note for everything. Everything.
Then, I slacked off after college. I even stopped thanking people for gifts, well, in written form anyway (which is the lowest of low). I try and send encouraging notes through Facebook or Twitter, but I don’t think it’s the same.
Most of you guys know my mom is battling breast cancer right now. People from all over have sent her notes – our church from growing up days, our relatives, friends of our relatives, friends from her current church. Several of my college friends have sent her notes, not having seen her for years. My mom has every single one in a basket in her living room. The last time I was there, I had to find her a bigger basket.
You don’t understand the power of the written note until you’ve experienced some life altering mess and know your friends have your back. It’s important. Since seeing my mom’s letter basket, I’ve tried to be better about purposely writing notes again. You’d be amazed at the attitude change. The more you tell people how you are grateful for them, the better you feel about life.
I encourage you guys to make a list of people you would like to thank. Then, take 15 minutes a week and write a note or two. I will do the same. I may never write a novel, but perhaps, with the power of one note, I can use my writing skills in small, life changing moments.