The Power of a Handwritten Note

Yesterday, while doing errands, I stopped at the bank where the Southern Illinois Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi has its account. Several members sent in checks while I was out-of-town. The envelopes were clipped together. At the bank, I opened the envelopes and put the deposit together because I didn’t have time to do it before I left the house. How wonderful it was to find this note from one of the club members. It warmed my heart.

The mailbox had this note from the Pi Phi daughter of a long-time Pi Phi friend. She’s a board member of the Lawrence Humane Society. I made a small donation to her LHS “For Them” campaign. One of my granddogs and a grandcat were former LHS animals.

The handwritten note that spurred me to write this post made its way to me later in the afternoon. I spent time sorting for the upcoming Friends of Carbondale Public Library Book Sale. For some reason, and I really don’t know why, I opened up a 1958 copy of The Ugly American. Maybe I opened it because it had a dust jacket in pristine condition and it was protected by a mylar cover. I saw this message and its sweet sentiments touched my heart.

The former owner, whose identity I’m fairly certain I’ve figured out, passed away several years ago. She was chapter president of the Chi Omega chapter at Indiana University. How heartwarming it was that the chapter gave her a book to let her know how special she was to the chapter. It was a book that she kept for 50 years, her lifetime. Did she open it on those days when the world felt all wrong? Did those thoughts penned by an anonymous sister decades before envelop her in the love of her sisters, in the joys of a shared bond, in the sincere friendship that can and should last a lifetime? How long did the chapter carry on this special tradition? And why don’t we do more of this today? Gift cards and trinkets are fleeting, but the power and permanence of a book with a handwritten note can last a lifetime.

Handwritten notes are precious. Write one to someone today, and make their day, too.

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