I save them.
When I open the mailbox and find one of those rare and precious hand addressed beauties, I usually save it along with the card it so carefully held. I have boxes and bags full of cards and envelopes that I have saved over the years, some as far back as third grade.
Hello. My name is Leslie and I’m an emotional packrat.
But when you have aunts that use calligraphy for their everyday handwriting, each envelope is a work of art. And so it becomes not just an envelope, but the warm, enveloping hug that Aunt Joann would give me had she handed the card to me herself.
Or then there’s the sassy envelope from my Marmee on my birthday. The one where I know she picked the stamps especially for me and used the labels I got her for Christmas because she loved them that much.
When I pull this envelope out, I remember the faithful way a former student wrote me even when I was several states away and how finding it in my mailbox made me feel that much closer to North Carolina.
Then there was the time my sister was the one in far away Texas. The two months she was in basic training for the Air Force were excruciating and I lived for those times when I found an envelope like this in my mail slot. This envelope told me my sister was persevering through the likes of which I couldn’t even begin to imagine.
Or the envelope that couldn’t be for anyone but me. The one that was filled with wisdom and love and encouragement and more faith that I could have ever imagined. The one that helped shape an epoch in my life.
The one that made me wonder if the mailperson giggled upon reading the back of the envelope.
Or, best of all, the envelope that bears the lovely and delightfully old-fashioned script of my Grandmother. Because now that she’s gone, every time I see that beautiful handwriting of hers, I remember the tender love and simple faith that spilled from her letters. The prayers that went behind her words is there too.
All in one simple envelope.