Sunday, January 14, 2007

I have been sending notes to my grandfather and great uncle, both older men who are unbelievably kind and courageous in the health battles they have been facing. I often email my great uncle, but I learned by accident that he greatly enjoys having snail mail come to him. Hence, the small cards and letters.

However, neither of them know what a sacrifice doing so is to me.

I struggle with writing by hand. While I find the concentration it takes far more difficult than typing, it is both the forming of letters and the act of spelling properly that mark the battle. My pages are filled with blots, scratch outs, and smudges of white out. I also fight to control both my temper and my attitude, for I feel horrid about the fact that it is probably easier for a second or third grader to write the missive than it is for me. I may have a leg up on the spelling of some words and the construction of my sentences, but the ease and confidence which most anyone who has learned to write wields has disappeared for me.

Writing the notes I mailed on Friday drove home the fact that this ability is slipping further and further away from me. Writing them took over an hour. Crafting my thank-you notes for those who blessed me with gifts at Christmas lasted over six hours for nine notes.

Last night, I did manage to complete another chapter for the week and have started on one today. When my fingers rest on a keyboard, the muse flows through fingers that are neither clumsy nor slow. For this ease of writing, I remain grateful.

However, it is no small thing for me to say that I am mourning losing the ability to write by hand. A while ago, I gave up my signature. I no longer try to either spell my name or form all the letters within it properly. It just simply isn't worth the battle while standing in line at a store. On cards yes, but no just about anywhere else bar legal documents.

Even so, I refuse to simply type those missives because I wonder how much longer I will be able to set pen to paper with any measure of success.

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