My Prized Possession: A Collection of Letters

For the past several years, just around the first week of December, I go to my closet and take out my box of birthday letters and spend a few minutes reading all the beautiful thoughts 37 people penned to me.

I always tell my family that I want to get my flowers when I am alive; when I can enjoy and feel the joy of receiving them. I always tell my family people need to hear kind words and nice things about themselves when they are alive. Why wait until the person dies? My family heard me. For my 37th birthday, one of my daughters spearheaded the “Mom’s Birthday Letters” project. The 37 letters I received brought immense joy and happiness to me then and still do today. These letters have taken up real estate in my heart! Today, I will share with you one of my letters. I’ve retyped it verbatim, except for my name. I replaced my nickname with my real name.


Elaine my dear,

Today as you celebrate your birthday, my thoughts will be with you as yours will be with many others as well. It will be unjust if I do not take this opportunity to congratulate Roshini for thinking about you and creating a gift that will probably end up being your most prized possessions; one you can refer to and cherish long after she is all grown up and gone. My invitation to participation in your book of love is indeed an honor.

Elaine, I have known you for about 17 years and I think you look the same – young and pretty.  Your early adult years were fun-filled for your childhood lingered. I realized that only because we worked together which gave me the chance to know you for the person you are. I watched you grow and most importantly mature through laughter and tears.

We spent some school years together, though not classroom time. We were there for each other for support and to lend an ear. Those days were rough ones and I will never forget them. Those were also good years where we actually developed our friendship as it is today. That time in your life was also blessed, for in my opinion, it forced you to grow up fast.

I remember vividly the excitement you displayed on your 25th birthday. I was very happy for you then as I am today. Youthful days gave you extra energy to deal with the trials of motherhood. You did a wonderful job and your success shows in the three beautiful children you have. Now both you and your husband can welcome their accomplishments with great pride.

Over the years, I watched you blossom into the woman you are. Your educational path led you here, your community involvement, your unselfish thoughts and time devoted to others, your family life, a loving wife and mother…these qualities my friend will continue to bloom and take you into the golden years.

On this your 37th birthday, the pleasure is all mine to be able to call you friend. It was God’s will and my good fortune to see where you were yesterday, where you are today and your journey into the tomorrows ahead.

A special wish to you for  a happy, healthy, and blessed birthday. Cherish today and continue to embrace tomorrow with a smile.



bday cake

Keep the Handwritten Letter Alive

When was the last time you received a handwritten note? When was the last time you wrote a note or letter in your own hand? The art of handwritten letters seems to be on the endangered list. Would it become extinct? I hope not. I have always enjoyed writing and receiving letters, but of recent I’ve been guilty of not sending out those little white envelopes.

Technology has made our lives easier and is keeping us connected yet, at the same time it seemed to have taken away some of the personal touch that we once enjoyed. Telephone conversations, texting, video messaging, social networks, to name a few, have become so intertwined in our lives that we have forgotten the joy of writing or receiving a handwritten note.

A letter from 1996

A letter from 1996

For me, the handwritten letter is a gift. It is a gift of time. It is also a tangible gift of words that I can reread and get those warm fuzzies all over again. I have a collection of letters and cards since I was a teenager and ever so often I go back to them and lose myself in someone else’s thoughts. I’ve got a bundle of love letters that bring a smile to my face each time I read them. I’m smiling now as I reflect upon the exhilaration and eager anticipation that accompanied each letter I received.

Letters & Cards

Letters & Cards

It is so easy to send a text message or an e-mail, but it is slightly more involved to actually put pen to paper. When someone writes me a letter, I know that that person dedicated time just for me. I was in his or her thoughts throughout the writing and let’s face it, don’t we all want to know that people are thinking of us?

At the beginning of March, I made a decision that I will write one handwritten note or letter per week for two months. Why just two months? It’s easier to set and reach a short goal. I am right on track- last week I sent a “just because” note to a colleague at work and two nights ago I wrote a letter to my friend in Canada. I encourage you to write a note to someone today or this week and be on the look-out for those warm fuzziesJ Let’s keep the art of handwritten letters alive.