Monday, May 2, 2011

Snail mail

I rifled quickly through the mail scattered on the floor before leaving home today. I didn't expect to see it, this thin letter addressed to me, sender unknown. I thought it's probably an invitation to something or a thank you for a shower attended some months ago. But it was a letter. A one-page, handwritten letter. From one of my old college roommates, nonetheless.

As is true with so many of my friendships over the years, they come and go. I've accepted that, come to terms with my limitations, with the delicate ebb and flow of relationships. There are friends for seasons and friends for life, and one thing I've learned about myself is that I'm much better in person with people than I am from a distance. Still, over the years, I'll find myself missing someone I had connected with at one time, enjoyed, and genuinely wish were still in my life. I've written a few of those old friends from time to time. This was the first letter I'd received from a friend from a past season in life who was remembering me - and missing me. It brought tears to my eyes as I clutched the page to my chest. Sometimes I think we just feel forgotten.

As I read her letter, recounting some of the qualities she'd once admired in me, she seemed to wonder if I was the same person she had known. Knowing I've changed a great deal from those days in college, I wondered if she would like the me I am today. I decided I needed to write her back, not only to thank her, but to re-introduce her to myself.

There's something about being remembered, about knowing that your life touched someone else's life as they touched yours. And as we are not static people, but ever changing with the seasons of life, there's also a desire to know that these same ones we connected with then could still be touched by who we are now.

And there's something about receiving snail mail, holding the paper in your hands and seeing the penmanship of someone you love. It's so easy to send an email or a facebook message or an e-card these days. How rarely I take the time any more to send a letter, yet how precious they are to receive, to be savored and tucked away to pull out and read again another day. I hope to remember this feeling, so I can once more practice the art of letter writing to brighten someone else's day.


  1. There are definitely friends for seasons...and they all serve their purpose!