Handwritten Notes

Next to my pillow, close enough for me to reach out and touch, is a handwritten note from my mom. I found it after she died, on a day when I searched desperately for her, calling her name even though I knew she wasn’t there, clinging to the last tissue with which she’d blotted her signature red lipstick. I found it on a day I needed to talk to her.

I unearthed the hidden treasure while kneeling on the cold garage floor, digging through a box of pictures. It was buried under notes and pictures my sister and I had written to her in crayon…roses are red, violets are blue, you’re the best mom, that is true..I unfolded it and saw her unforgettable handwriting, as recognizable to me as her smile, her scent, her voice. It was timeless. It was infinite. It was as if she’d reached down from heaven and handed it me.

“Dear Sue,

Do you know how special you are? You are cute, pretty inside and out, and you have done a great deal with grace and dignity. Have lots of fun and happiness. Do not be afraid. You are so much,  you have so much. What a wonderful human being you are.

God bless you and keep you all through the night and wake you pleasant with the morning bright.”


I’m not sure when she wrote it or why. Sounds like maybe I was heading off to camp or college. I’m not sure why she never gave it to me. I just know that it was the most precious gift. She told me to be happy at a time when grief made happiness seem like a distant memory. She told me not to be afraid, when I was consumed with fear that life without her would never be the same, that in losing her, I’d lost the best parts of me. She told me God would keep me safe through this dark time, and a bright morning would follow, by adding a little prayer I had heard nightly,being tucked in as a child.

I don’t think the same note, typed on paper, or saved from an email, would have been so powerful. I wouldn’t have heard the words the same way, read to me in her voice, without her actual distinctive letter formations, spacing, even some spellings and capitalizations.

Her handwriting transcends time and space. It is my touchstone. It is a gift.

I hope someday a note I’ve taken time to write in my scraggly left-handed print, finds its way to my loved ones’ hearts and comforts them the way my mom’s note has comforted me.












7 thoughts on “Handwritten Notes”

  1. That’s awesome .. a hand written note is indeed so much more personal. Glad you found it!


  2. I don’t keep very many cards and other things people might find sentimental but a handwritten letter or note? That, I always tuck away. I treasure those. What a lovely thing to find in your hour of need.


  3. Such a beautiful slice about the special treasure you found.


  4. Sometimes the perfect gift finds is. What a treasure that letter is!


  5. It’s those little, seemingly random, gifts, that count the most it seems. That note was meant to be found!


  6. As a pencil and paper junkie I totally love this. I am passionate about handwriting, not in a neat perfect way but in a, it’s a part of you way. Every Christmas card we get we usually can recognise the writing and we know who it is from before we even open it. That note is a real treasure, I am so glad you have it and your loved ones will be glad you valued the handwritten note in the future, when they have their treasure to hold too. 🙂


  7. I really love this line – “I unfolded it and saw her unforgettable handwriting, as recognizable to me as her smile, her scent, her voice.” This is so magical! What a beautiful find.


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