I’m a sentimental fool. I save handwritten cards. Lots of them.
I came by this habit honestly. I’ve got cards that my mom saved from her baby shower before I was born.
I’ve got cards from my from my childhood girlfriends wishing me a happy birthday, asking me if we could be friends forever, or just checking in to say hi while we are away from each other over summer break.
I’ve got cards from my first boyfriend from when he was stationed in Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield telling me about middle eastern culture and that he was thinking about me.
I’ve got cards from high school friends who had gone off to college in far-away places telling me about their classes, the people they were meeting, the parties they were going to, and reminiscing about the old days of shopping and hanging out.
My mom has been gone now for 14 years. One of my most treasured cards is one from her from my teen years where she is giving me a pep talk through a difficult time and she tells me I am a strong, beautiful and a very special person. Her words on paper in her handwriting are more valuable to me now than any material item could be. Whenever I crave a piece of her, I can read her words and hear her voice.
And I’ve saved every card my husband has given me over the years. And now I’m starting to accumulate handwritten cards from my kids.
But what I don’t have are many mailed handwritten cards from more recent times. While people do still send handwritten cards to celebrate the bigger occasions, I can count on one hand the number of handwritten cards I’ve received by mail over the past few years just to say hi, check-in, or celebrate the smaller bits of life. I’m just as guilty as the next person. I’ve stopped sending handwritten cards as well. It’s just so easy to send a text, like or comment on a post, or even send an ecard.
But, I was reminded of the power of a handwritten card over the summer when out of the blue a friend sent me a card with a true and meaningful compliment. It came just at the right time and moved me to tears with its simplicity – you are amazing it said. Someone thought I was amazing just for being me and it made me FEEL AMAZING. This simple and kind act really gave me perspective on who and what is important to me.
This simple gesture reminded me that there is something so moving about reading handwritten messages in greeting cards. They are people’s hearts on paper and can sometimes be a lifelong keepsake that is all you have left of someone. It’s fun and can help people feel seen, heard, supported, appreciated and loved. Surprise someone today with a handwritten card. It’ll make their day. They’ll never forget it. And you will feel good too. I’m going to add that card to my collection and revisit it when I’m feeling blue. It was the birth of the #youareamazingmovement.In a world that has become more digital and impersonal, I miss authentic human connection and the personal touch of handwritten greeting cards. And I’m not the only one.