I’m going to preface this with a story.
I really love my dad’s sister. She’s the best aunt ever. The last time I saw her was last summer, on my family’s grand American road trip. It was only for a day, for a few hours. But I was so happy to see her. I knew she was sick. It was a kidney problem, I think. She was supposed to get a transplant, but was rejected because her oxygen levels were too low and putting her through the surgery would be risky. My dad told me the doctors gave her 90 days. This was at the beginning of the year, and I freaked out. Internally freaked out. I’m good at hiding my emotions until I’m alone. When I was alone, I cried and cried.
She had told me at the end of December she wanted a scarf to accompany the hat I had made her. I got that done in record time and sent it to her. And for a while, I heard nothing. Not from her, not from my dad. So I worried. But then I joined my school’s Campus Cursive, a branch of the organization More Love Letters. Then I got the idea to send the letters to my aunt. I asked my dad for her address and was relieved when he told it to me. I submitted a request for my aunt to receive a love bundle. It would contain anywhere from 5-10 letters. The day after I submitted it, I wrote my own letter to my aunt. I wanted to tell her things I couldn’t say anonymously. I asked her for a letter back, if she wanted to, because I loved mail.
A few days ago, my dad gave me my aunt’s phone number. Told me to call her because she wanted to give me her secret ingredient for her lasagna (which is delicious, by the way).
Today, after a long day of sitting in a class to get a lifeguard certificate, I checked my mail and got a reply from my aunt. I read it and was overwhelmed. I didn’t care it took me a while to decipher her handwriting. I got a letter from her. And in that letter I felt the love from her. I called her up a little while later. We ended up talking for a while. I loved it.
She had gotten my letter, she said, and it had made her day.
She told me she had received the letters from Campus Cursive, and she sat in her car and cried tears of joy. She couldn’t even drive.
She showed it to a friend of hers, and that friend started crying.
She told her pastor about me and the writers of the bundles of letter she had gotten, and her pastor said, “There needs to be more people like her and her friends.”
She was talking to my dad minutes before I called her and told him about the letters. He asked her how many she had gotten and she said eight. My dad joked with her and said, “I don’t even have eight friends!” She replied, “Neither do I, and that’s why I cried!”
And while she was telling me this, I had to keep myself from crying. I had made my aunt’s day, and I got to talk to her and have this moment with her. This is the power of writing. This is the power of handwritten letters. To show people that in this digital world, they are still loved and that somewhere out there, someone is thinking of them.
Moral of the story is: check out More Love Letters. Join them in their campaign to write more letters. You want something that isn’t a text or an email. There’s something touching about receiving a letter in the mail. Write a letter for them. If you’re a university (or high school student, although this is significantly rarer), check out their website to see if there’s a chapter near you. Join it. Make someone else’s day and have a story like mine. Write letters and spread love.