Yesterday my family said goodbye to a longtime friend of my mother’s. After coming home from the funeral, I sat down to unwind and indulge in the slew of girly Valentine’s Day movies on Lifetime. Ironically, the movie that was playing was one about a woman who loses her husband to a brain tumor. But, before he died the husband (Gerard Butler) makes a plan for his wife (Hilary Swank) to receive intermittent letters, handwritten by him. The letters come at the perfect moment, soothe her and help her through her pain. My day was emotional, but it got me thinking about the beauty of the permanence of a handwritten letter.
Handwriting is unique to every individual. It is used to identify us, analyze us and select us in instances of jury selection, criminal cases and identifying exactly what a person’s characteristics are. But even more, handwriting can be used for loved one’s to remember us. It is personality on paper; therefore, it is you.
Since 1415 humans have given handwritten cards with poems and words of love for Valentine’s Day. Not only are the words written on the paper sentimental, but so is the time and thought someone puts into writing them – especially now that it is uncommon to do so. Handwritten thoughts are a keepsake.
My mom often leaves me notes and sent many a card while I was living away from home. Most I keep in a crate of paper and pictures under my desk. Whenever I missed her I re-read the sometimes inappropriate and other times squishy notes. They are beautiful, loving and a better reminder of my mother than a picture ever could be because they are her.
This Valentine’s Day has been a reminder of how precious my relationships are and how valuable a handwritten memory can be.