I received a love letter every single day. For almost seven years. Sometimes it was a letter on a piece of paper cut like a red heart. At times, it had two stick figures holding hands. Sometimes it was two lines with occasional spelling mistakes. It had sugar and spice and everything nice.
The best part was that it always came as a surprise. It was planted in my notebooks. Sometimes I found it in my handbag. Some days it found its way to my study table or dressing table. Occasionally, it was accompanied by roses or common flowers like poppies or pansies.
It stopped gradually. My daughter became a teenager and Mom ceased being an angel and a fairy. I wondered in those days, when she had found the time to create these crafty letters in clandestine. I had no idea that a day would come when I would no longer get love letters from my most ardent admirer. I miss them terribly.
Oh! How I crave to be a 6 year old’s mother again! Life was filled with soft and innocent love, with emoticons from the heart in various rainbow colours.
To all the boys I’ve loved before
An entire series was written by Jenny Han based on five letters which went on to become a New York Times best-seller. Lara Jean from the book and the movie absolutely wins your heart with her girl struggles. The whole premise of the book is built on love letters that are accidentally posted.
All hell breaks loose as Lara Jean finds out that the secret intense letters she wrote to get her mind off the crushes she had, have found their ways to their respective addressees.
There are sequels to this beautiful coming of age story. It’s enough to make all dreamers collectively sigh as Lara Jean circumvents her growing pains, education, and misfortunes.
When I started this topic with this title, it felt strange. The title sounded soppy and dripping with cloyingly sweet sugar. We humans are a stereotypical lot and sometimes miss the wood for the trees.
Who writes love letters in an era of text messages, video conversations and especially in these times of corona? We’re spraying vegetables with sanitising solutions and moving towards a paperless revolution. Why in the world would you wear your heart on your sleeve or profess unending love in antiquated and outdated methods.
But somehow, this pandemic has added more urgency to tie the strings of relationships with love strongly. What better method to accomplish this than with well-crafted expressive letters?
Stories we share with each other
The stories we share, no matter how small, can resonate with someone. Your written script of today, may become someone’s handbook tomorrow. My friend Sim, who is very shy and reserved, often feels relieved when she reads my narratives from real life.
There is a powerful resource in us when other people recognise their tender feelings in our written words. Imagine the power of receiving a handwritten letter with thoughtful feelings, polite tone and correct grammar and spelling.
“Writing is therapeutic because at the core of writing is self-expression,” cited one scholar. Scientific studies have shown that writing is beneficial for psychological, mental and physical health. Surely, a love letter will bring positive emotions to both the writer and the recipient!
Writing removes the mental tangle out of our muddled brains and brings relief and joy. It clears our thoughts.
Let us write those love notes to those whom we love now, before it is too late.
Feby Imthias is a writer based in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: @Feby_Imthias