24 Mar Slice of Life: Are You In It For The Long Haul? #SOL17
One of the first signs we noticed was her handwriting. We seemed to somehow miss the sign that she was posting reminder notes to herself all over the house. What struck us and caused us to pause for the first time was the change in her handwriting. It no longer looked like her handwriting. It was shaky, hard to decipher and misspelled. We knew something was wrong. It was the beginning of a connect the dots puzzle that revealed a tragic picture.
I never thought much about a person’s handwriting until my mom lost her ability to write. The feeling, the familiarity, and the comfort from seeing someone’s handwriting. It is just something you come to know and expect. As soon as you see it, your body responds viscerally. You can hear the voice, see the expression and feel the emotion of the person.
Since my mom passed I long to see her handwriting. I surround myself with card, notes, and recipes penned by her. When I see it, I am immediately connected to her. I am brought to a time and place when she is once again my mom.
An old Christmas card on my desk
A cookbook full of recipes I peruse each Sunday morning
A note she tucked in my bag as I left for college that I still keep in my wallet
It makes me think about our world today. How often do I handwrite a note? Do my children even know my handwriting? Would they connect to it as I connect to my mom’s handwriting? What will they connect to? How will I remain in their hearts?
The world is ever changing and technology allows us to be closer in so many ways – text, phone calls and video chats. Will these be imprinted in our memory in the same way? I only remember one phone I had with my parents in college, but I remember so many of the notes, cards and letters. I still have all those notes, cards and letters with me to cherish and remember each day. I can google any recipe I want, but I love touching the paper my mother once touched as I plan my weekly menu.
Since experiencing this, I have made an effort to handwrite more often. Morning messages to my family, recipes, notes in the books I give to my children as gifts, and weekly family “to-do” lists. I want them to remember my handwriting and to be with me whenever they see it. I know technology will make it easier for me to be in more frequent contact with my children when they move away in the near future, but I want to make sure that the memories I am creating are also in it for the long haul.