How many months have passed since you put pen to paper. Perhaps you can’t recall your last letter written in ink. 

I hope you can.

I know I can’t.

It’s 2015. Letters are becoming a thing of the past. It’s too easy to send a simple emoji to your friend through social media; or a text message to your mom; or an e-mail to your sister.

It’s just too easy. 

The simplicity of communication in 2015 makes a handwritten letter seem like an audacious task. So audacious, in fact, that I had to write myself a note to remember to accomplish this feat. A pink sticky note starred at me all week with this reminder:

“Write a letter to Doris.”

And yet here I am, several days later, without a single word written in ink.

I hadn’t heard from Doris in months, maybe years. She used to live in our community and we attended the same church. She and her husband moved to be closer to family. I didn’t know her well but her kind compassion and encouraging soul always made me smile. She’s a bit older than me, by about 54 years (give or take). This means our form of communication varies a bit. 

I send tiny cat emojis through instant messenger to my friends.

She sends a front and back letter with beautiful words to hers.

Doris’ form of communication is better. Clearly.

The letter I received from Doris brought unexpected tears to my eyes. Opening the mail-box to see a hand written note (instead of junk mail or advertisements) immediately made me smile. I carefully opened the envelope which held newspaper clippings and a two page letter written to me and my husband. Doris keeps up with our lives and the happenings in our community through our local paper. She updated me on her life and church and family and then wrote a sentence that made me pause. She said,

“I didn’t intend to write a book. But when I read your latest column I detected that you may be feeling like you are not living your dreams. Perhaps you feel like you’re just an ordinary wife and mother and should be accomplishing more. Dear girl, you are not aware that the way you live your daily life is more powerful than you realize.”

Bring on the tears, friends. They were rolling.

I didn’t expect such a beautiful reminder to come from a distant friend. But it did; at an unexpected time through an unexpected form of communication. And sometimes, I’ll admit, I do feel ordinary. It’s easy to feel that way in the routine of this life. But Doris reminded me how important ordinary can be. And her words made me want to remind you, too.

Doris, you are and always have been much more than ordinary. You are an extraordinary woman leaving a legacy of friendship and kindness to all those blessed to know you. Thank you for your letter. Thank you for taking time out of your day to send a note full of beautiful words. It hangs above my desk as a reminder of the incredible people in this incredible land. We can learn a few things from your form of communication. 

What’s easy isn’t always best. Take time out of your day, friends. Write a letter. You’ll be amazed at the impact your words can make. 

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Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.