I recently had the privilege of listening to author, Jason F. Wright at the Stampin’ Up! Leadership Conference. He began his keynote speech speaking about his love of letters…writing letters, receiving letters, and reading letters. I could totally relate when he talked about how he loves the sound of the mail truck coming around the corner and that special squeaking sound the mailbox makes as the postman pulls open the door and stacks the letters inside. For as long as I remember, I have always felt a little twinge of excitement as I walk towards the mailbox waiting to discover the treasures inside. I close the small, metal door with a snap and without moving an inch start flipping through the stack of advertisements, bills, and junk mail hoping to find an envelope with my name written across the front in ink. I don’t glance at the return address because half the fun is seeing if the script is familiar and smiling when I realize who has brightened my day. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy any time I receive a message from a friend or family member, whether it be Facebook or Twitter, a blog post, an email or text, but there’s something magical about knowing that a person took the time to send me a personal part of them self with a handwritten note. Seeing the scrawl and flourish sparks my imagination as I visualize a friend sitting down, running the pen across the paper, and maybe biting their lip as they concentrate on the perfect thing to say. It makes me feel special.
It’s sad to me that the art of sending a card or handwritten letter is becoming lost in our fast-paced lives. I long to go back to simpler times, slowing down the pace, and taking a moment to create a note with scented, beautifully crafted paper. I have stacks of cherished cards and letters stashed away in shoeboxes that I love to bring out now and then. Holding the worn and fragile papers that have yellowed over time and reading the thoughtful messages warms my heart and reminds me of the love I share with so many. My favorite letters are ones written from friends to my sister Judy before she passed away telling her how much she meant to them and the one from my sister Joan telling my mother how proud she was of me. A little notecard from my brother Jerry I found tucked inside a bouquet flowers changed our relationship forever. I will never forget the excitement of seeing an envelope from my grandmother Katie in mail knowing that it was my birthday and there was a dollar tucked inside, or how much I appreciated that someone I barely knew sent me a card every week for nine months as I battled cancer. I have every card Dennis has given me over the years and I smile each time I see the cute little character he draws next to his name that has a secret meaning to us both. It makes me laugh every time I see that he signed his name as Dennis Ciolli. I’ve been married to this man for 37 years!
Maybe my love for being a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator stems from this love of written communication. I’ve often spoken of my excitement when I see the sparkle in someone’s eyes as they’ve created their first hand-stamped card, but it’s more than that. I see their happiness and know that they will be soon be sending the card they made with its smudges, a crooked sentiment, fingerprints, and a handwritten message to brighten someone’s day. How can you not be proud of what you do when know that you have been part of creating a smile or touching someone’s heart with an inspiring message of love, apology, encouragement, or support during a difficult time? 20 years from now someone will go into a closet to pull out a forgotten little dusty shoebox full of memories, joy, and the smell of ink; creating another smile and maybe a tear or two.