Texting and emailing are so quick and easy. Who doesn’t love the instant gratification of a quick hello, check in, or making of plans? And now with Bitmoji we can communicate an entire message with just one image. I love that I can send a heart emoji to a friend who lives on the other side of the country and in less than a minute receive a message back. Instant connection.

Yet, there is still nothing in the world like receiving a handwritten note, card, or letter in the mail. Personal and permanent in a way that text messages or emails will never be.

The other day I rediscovered a box of letters, cards, and notes written over the course of a lifetime between me and my Mom. We loved, laughed, and learned through life together. She died in 1995. Seeing her handwriting brought her back to me in such a real way…deeper and more profound than my memories or pictures ever could. Her humor came alive in a card she sent to me my freshman year at college that read on the outside, “I wish you two things on your Birthday” And on the inside…”Boobs”. The sentimental cards with passages underlined, starred and comments made beside telling me how much I mean to her and how very much she loves and believes in me. Words of wisdom written on scrap pieces of paper now colored with time…”As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move” Katherine Hepburn.

Perhaps even more significant were the cards and notes from me to her. I am so grateful that I had the wherewithal to write to her, to put into writing the respect and appreciation I had for her. That I saw her; her strength, grit, resilience and humor. To know that she read and saved my notes, cards and letters brings such comfort and peace. I can picture her walking out to the mailbox and opening the envelope addressed to her, reading the note inside, and smiling even before she walked into her house knowing that I took the time to write. This image fills me.

There are no words that can adequately express the power of those found messages. Had we texted or emailed those messages would have been long gone, in a literal instant.

So, write. Find just the right card that inspires, makes you laugh out loud, or lets someone know that you are thinking of them. Write a letter expressing your love. Leave a note for someone who makes your life a little easier. Express appreciation in writing instead of in passing. You won’t regret it. Someday your message may be the found treasure that makes someone’s day.