They say life is about the little things; a good latte, a book you can’t put down, spending time with that one person who you can both talk to about anything and sit with in comfortable silence.
And they’re right. It IS all about the little things.
One of my absolute FAVORITE little things is mail. Personally addressed, hand written, postage stamp in the corner mail. If you know me at all, this won’t surprise you. I have a ….passion… let’s call it, for all things non-technological.
So when was the last time you received handwritten, postage stamped, honest-to-god MAILED mail?
I’m guessing it’s been awhile.
Remember a few posts ago when we were talking about Champagne Flutes and Little Blue Boxes? Well, that’s pretty much the majority of what is on my little blue box. Handwritten mail: birthday cards, graduation cards, I-saw-this-and-have-been-thinking-about-that-one-time-you-and-I…. ever-since cards. It’s no mystery that I love words, and writing, and am a complete closet sentimental. And I’ve started to tap into where this stems from.
I long ago learned the painful lesson that, while I can remember the way that people made me feel, I can never remember actual spoken words. And maybe this seems minor to you. Maybe, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not supposed to be. To me, it is anything but. It haunts me. I have let it haunt me. And while I can’t redo the past, I can take what I have learned and let it reshape the way I act in the future.
So now I tell people things in writing. And, at the liberty of sounding pushy, you should, too. Please. Give them something tangible to hold onto. Words to trace with their fingertips. Sentences to commit to memory. A weapon to wield when the shadows of doubt begin to creep in.
Yes, doing this for those you love is hard. Now, I want you to push yourself even farther. I also am asking you to do this intimate act for those who have no face that you would recognize. For those whom you will never meet. For those who already have so much in common with.
Basically, what I am asking you to do is consider participating in a cause I have become active in this last year. I really do hope that you consider it; it has been something that has become closer to my heart than I ever thought it would.
It’s about sending real, handwritten mail to different people each month who need it most of all.
This month, for example, there are three stories:
“Kate has been crying almost every day for the last month. A recent breakup left Kate realizing she had entangled her life with a guy who was never right for her. When the two broke up, her life was changed completely. Now she is alone again after so many years, crumbling apart and not knowing who to turn to. Kate needs to know that there are strangers out there who believe in her and want to see her whole again. She needs to know that there is life, and so much of it, after a bad breakup.“
“Jason is my big brother. A veteran of the Marines, he served the USA and was deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq. He has been trying to go through school since he got out of the military and has quietly fought PTSD , which has gotten worse in recent weeks. He has a big heart, and has always been involved in helping other veterans, disadvantaged, and disabled. Please help a Veteran feel special and see the sunshine in a dark period of his life!”
“Deborah was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2010. Since then she has gone through chemo and radiation with astounding strength. She was cleared, cancer free, after less than a year, and was ready to move on with her life. Since then, she has had numerous complications as a result of her surgeries and radiation treatments. She constantly says, ” I thought cancer was the hard part. They told me to beat cancer, and I did it. No one warned me about this part. No one is telling me how I am supposed to beat this.” She is low on hope, low on inspiration, and losing belief in the greatness of life and the human spirit. She needs to remain positive in order to continue to fight. She knows nothing about this blog, or what is done for those in need, but I know she would appreciate it more than anyone will ever truly understand. This could be exactly what she needs to regain the amazing strength I know is inside her. Deborah has so much left to live for, but could really use a few kind hearted third party people to express that to her. She needs strength to continue to fight. These letters have the capability to save her life.”
So here’s the deal:
You will get an email once a month of requests for letters. You have the option to write to none, one or all of the individuals. You can do anything from writing an actual letter to just sending a card with a few lines of encouragement. It’s not about worrying over what or how much to write, it’s often just as simple as saying that they are thought of and being wished well.
You’ll mail your contributions to a PO box, where they are sorted per recipient and then delivered in a huge bundle with an explanation of the More Love Letters Campaign.
And before you know it, you’ll be searching out specialty card stores, buying the “really good ones” to save for “just the right person”, and looking forward to reaching out and holding up a person in the moment that they need it the most. A person who can never reward you with a public thanks, or provide any sort of expectation of reciprocation. You are simply giving yourself to the world in the most pure and satisfying form.
Please think about participating in this. It would mean so, so much to me. And to the people who need these letters. And it will begin to mean so much to you, too. I promise.
To join things together: and yet remain set apart. Right?