Life Letters 2

The second in a series called Life Letters.

Do you remember getting your first note in school from a friend or maybe from someone special? I mean a ‘good’ note. Or maybe did you receive a nice letter or note from a teacher, mentor, or special relative? Your parents?

I must confess, I have been a little remiss about writing a “good” blog here at I can’t really put my finger on the why but nonetheless I feel like I’m back to it.

Part of the reason I feel like I’m back to it is because of some letters I’ve sent, and received…..

Have you ever sent a friend or loved one a note, a letter, email, text, etc. to them and not really had a return reply for quite some time? Maybe you just sent them a note to say ‘hi’ or maybe you gave them an update, or maybe you even sent them different types of encouragement or little laughs in a note. Did you ever send this person a few communications – over weeks, even months, maybe even years – and not had any significant replies – but you kept on doing it?

Or were you on the receiving end?

I guess that I’m built in such a way that I feel compelled to write people. I still do much of it the old fashion way; on paper and by mail. I feel like I need to write them updates, or say a hello, or say some sort of encouragement. People sometimes say, “you’re great that you make an effort to do so…” Frankly, there is probably some kind of neurosis in my brain that ‘makes’ me send these notes out, often times it is more for my own peace of mind than others, perhaps.

I was sending a friend some letters over about 1 1/2 years. Nothing fancy, just a hello, how are you, here’s what’s new with me, etc. Sometimes I’d offer encouragement and other thoughts, with sincerity. I had not had any type of reply for literally 9 months or more.

From time to time, I got a little frustrated, angry, even hurt that he didn’t reply. Why couldn’t he just reply hello? Some of my communications were snail mail, others email. I’d hold off for about a month, then I’d send him another note.

I realized that I was really the one controlling the feelings here – how I interpreted the situation made me feel one way or another. So I tried to be objective and realize that I was doing a good thing, reaching out, and that regardless of the reply, that’s what I wanted to do, and I should be happy.

I also had been communicating with another friend who had been having a tough time with something. I tried to be supportive in a few notes. I also carefully tried to be a friend and show a little tough love- to point out a few things, without judgement, as a friend, about something specific he was doing. It was mean as helpful and hopefully came across that way.

Again, this person had not really replied much and I got a little confused if I should keep writing, etc.

Then recently, I heard from both of them in the same week, just a coincidence I think. The one guy that I had been writing to for over a year thanked me for the letters. He is not one to really verbalize such things but said he appreciated the notes even though he didn’t reply.

He said that he didn’t reply because he felt my notes were ‘so good’ and he never felt like he was a good writer, etc. etc. I told him that didn’t matter and just a quick hello was fine for me. The point was that my letters mattered a lot and got him through one situation I wasn’t even aware of….he said just knowing that I was there, as well as other loved ones, really helped him.

The other guy to whom I tried to offer judgement free support reached out and said that he first had a little anger with my letter. He felt that I was being judgemental and that my advice was unfair. He later told me that after he cooled down he realized that he was in denial to some degree and realized my thoughts were true, having had a relative tell him the same. He appreciated my letters and my thoughts – even if he didn’t always agree with them.

I recall going through things in life. My dad was always one to write a lot. Sometimes the letters would be about life or something deep and touching. ANother time he’d send a newspaper article about something that might interest me. Other times it was a joke or silly cartoon. My dad mailed a letter to me on a Monday and he passed away on that Tuesday. I still have that letter and it means a lot, even though the subject matter is rather trivial.

I was often the guy, then, who didn’t reply. However, the letters helped me during a few moments, weeks, months or tough times – the same as any of you have probably had. Even if the letter seemed irrelevant, I knew he cared to send it and he took the time.

ABout a year ago, I wrote a note to a friend of the family, someone older that was friends with my parents. He passed away about 2 weeks later. I was glad that I got to write him one more letter. We were talking about fun times with my parents and the family from years before.

Is there someone in your life, in your past that could benefit from a letter or email? Maybe it is about something close and personal. Or maybe they could just use a hello. Anyone could use a quick laugh.

Have you had any cool emails or letters come your way? Didn’t they mean something to you? Maybe your letter can make a little difference in someone’s life. Reach out and drop someone a note.


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