Dear Old Love Letters,

Dear Old Love Letters,

I found you, in the bottom of the big old box. There you were, tucked away safely, all this time. You have stayed so true, so loyal over all these last thirty years. You have not seen the light of day nor felt the warmth of hand to open you and turn your sweet pages.  Thank you for your patience, and knowing, that perhaps now was the perfect time to find you. Read you. Rediscover you. 

As life brings closure on a significant chapter of life, you bring me back, so sweetly and innocently, to the one that began the history of them all. The first.

postage

It’s been thirty years since you were penned and mailed, with a stamp that cost twenty cents. It’s been thirty years since your words have been read and savored. Thirty years since feeling that flutter of happiness upon seeing the yellow envelope on my dresser when I got home from school.

You were written for a sixteen year old girl, and you were written long before you could ever know that letting those words flow freely from your yet unbruised heart would begin the first of all bruises yet to follow. Your wordy news and little updates of seemingly mundane moments pre-date any form of text messaging that today, would surely consume hours of our days. Every little detail, so important.

Your sweet innocence and vulnerability is almost too much…

“My mind is on other things, so I decided to write to that one other thing – you!”

Your uninhibited words play across the pages – the slightly sappy, but so very endearing Snoopy stationery, chosen by your author – in your own unique way; you convey his heart, his thoughts, his cute little sighs.  You reveal a heart as yet unbroken. You tell me that I am missed, appreciated, and while the word graces not the page, in between the lines it’s there. A naive first love.

To find you now is perfect really. A time of re-calibration. A time of reflection. A time of being intentional. A time of new direction. It’s like you knew, that you waited for me somehow.  You remind me what is possible. You remind me that the heart is beautiful, resilient and wise. And that the telling of one’s heart is in fact an act of courage.

“I’m sure extra glad that things are working out with your parents about me. If I come up to visit, I’ll probably get real nervous and blow it though. So, they said it’s ok to come up and visit and stuff? Well, I’m interested in the stuff 🙂 “

Letters, you are a landmark of sorts; a familiar, even if so very vague, place worth remembering, perhaps keeping an eye out for.  I would like to somehow convey to your author  – the sweet boy who was brave enough to pen his heart on your pages for me, for to be so transparent is truly an act of bravery – how grateful I am. That he owns a corner of my heart. Always. How could he not?

“I sure had a super great time on Sat. Thanks! We didn’t do much, but it didn’t matter. Just being with you made it worth it.”

Letters, sweet old letters, thank you for staying safely tucked away and finding me again all these years later.  I grin and blush just thinking about you and feel almost sixteen again.  I am comforted by your presence, for the 16 year old girl then, and the woman now old enough to be her mother.  Like muscle memory, our hearts have a memory too. It is good.

Love,
Bonnie

______________________

*These letters are real, and were from my first boyfriend when I was 16 yrs old and he 19.  We met while working together at a summer camp. I attended his wedding years later and we danced together, talking and sharing, knowing we’d always think fondly of the other. While I congratulated him on his big day, and said I wished he and his bride so much joy,  I told him I still had his letters. He said he still had mine.  

I could tell you what happened or who broke who’s heart, but when a first love ends, isn’t it both hearts that twist and crumple, never to be quite the same ever again?

How the story ended is not so important as remembering the sheer openness and accessibility. Every girl should be so lucky to have letters so sweet and that remind her that she’s been cherished in the eyes of another. 

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Love Letter

Dear Writing,

I am writing this note to say that I miss you. I miss you dearly.  It seems that lately, I haven’t been able to spend much quality  or one-on-one time with you. I think of you so often, all the time really, you must know. Thoughts of you chase around in my mind – like jungle monkeys, vine to vine – and come and go and I get that little flutter of excitement. Yes, you still give me the butterflies.

We both know we are still courting, and getting to know one another, and it may seem that I am being neglectful of your needs and not showing you how much I appreciate you in my life, and how there is no one else quite like you. You get me, you understand me. You listen. You are always there for me, waiting so patiently. I must be clear and share that thoughts of you are never far from my mind. Not a day goes by that I don’t imagine long leisurely moments together, just luxuriating over each word and phrase. When we get down to commas and semi-colons my heart goes pitter-patter. Oh dear, I fear I have made you blush. 

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This is not to say that at times we won’t always see eye to eye, but I feel confident in our relationship. I have had my eye on you for quite some time now; I was always just so shy to show my affection and interest, for fear it might not be reciprocated.

So, while I carry on and attend to the more mundane tasks that seem to endlessly present themselves for my attention, you must remember that you are the object of my affection and to measure my affection not by keystrokes, but by thoughts.

Affectionately and adoringly yours,

Bonnie

Write me a letter

I found this paper and I was immediately drawn to it – the color, the texture, but mostly for the nostalgic sense of old, hand written letters it evoked.  I could easily begin to imagine an attic full of old love letters from during war times, pencil-written love notes between high school sweethearts, notes from my mother from days gone by and all the way up to the handwritten thank you notes I have my son write for birthday gifts. It’s a chore he begrudges, but I am relentless in making him finish each one – not only for the obvious reason of teaching him the importance of a simple thank you, but for the exercise in writing.

With the type, text and tablets of today, we are hard pressed to sit down to write a handwritten letter very often these days.  Most of the holiday cards we received this year were fully imprinted – no handwritten notes. I didn’t even send any this year [Yet! There is still hope for a New Year’s card, or the one I think about every year – a Groundhogs Day card!] so I can’t really get after anyone, but still I realize that something is lost when we take the pen away from the paper.

Write me a letter

I am as guilty as the next person; I am to the point where my brain thinks better at the keyboard – I can see the words spilling out, my own thoughts really, more clearly than I can if I pick up a pen to write.  Yet, I am still amazed by what shows in a person’s handwriting.  My mother had a very distinct, sharp style to her writing, so much so that she was self-conscious about it. She would often ask me to write things for her; saying how nice my handwriting was.  Years later, now that she is gone, it is almost like being with her when I come across something she wrote: a recipe or more likely one of the countless notes she wrote to me over the years. She was a fantastic note and letter writer, and I think her handwriting is beautiful.

Not too long ago, I received a handwritten note from a friend with whom I had only exchanged email or text.   We  saw each other in person often, but never an occasion for something written.  I had an immediate reaction to seeing his handwriting; it was almost like seeing an actor play a character from a book I had read, or meeting someone in person that I have only interacted with by phone.  I felt that in seeing his handwritten words, I felt even more connected and, that perhaps, I knew him a little bit more.

As the new year approaches, I have the opportunity to write a very personal, very difficult letter to a very important person.  This is a letter that will take so much thought, consideration and care.  I have drafts of it floating around in my mind;  but I need to tie all those virtual scraps together into a caring, sensitive and compelling letter. I may have only chance to write to this person, and I really want to get it right.  My comfort zone is to type it, so I can back up, reword, go back, edit, fix, change; whatever it takes to make it perfect.  But I won’t. I want this person to know me, even if just a little bit. And what if my handwriting tells her a little bit about me, something that I can’t convey in words?  And, what if my handwriting looks just like hers?  This letter will be handwritten, without question.

So as the new year is upon us, think of someone you would like to write a letter to; find a nice pen, a note card and get going.  You will be glad you took the time, and more importantly, so will the person who is lucky enough to receive your letter.  And as you write, think about what your handwriting says about you…Leave a comment and let me know!

May your new year be merry & bright