The power of a signature
I have a confession to make: I have a hard time throwing things away. Not everything -- I'm not a hoarder -- but anything that has sentimental value to me. Part of that is because i am a scrapbooker and collecting the flotsam and jetsam of memories is what I do, but it's also because of moments like the one I am about to tell you about.
We were recently cleaning out the hall closet to make room for the change of seasons. On the upper shelf, there was a cardboard box that I did not recognize. My hubby took it down, peeked inside and said, "Looks like it's just pictures. Do you wanna go through it?" Never one to miss a trip down memory lane, I happily agreed to sort through the box. There were indeed pictures from events like our wedding (nearly 14 years ago - eep!) and other things, but what really stopped me in my tracks was a greeting card. The front said something like "To a wonderful daughter," so I of course knew it was from my parents, but what struck me -- I mean really struck me, reduced me to tears -- was what was on the inside. Two simple words: "Love, Dad." Not Mom and Dad -- just Dad.
Most of the time, my mom would just sign cards to me from both of them. I don't know why or what the circumstances were behind him signing this one solo, but here's why it means so much to me.
My dad is no longer with us. He died when my daughter -- his only grandchild -- was just 16 days old. That was 9 years ago this week. To find something that he actually signed, touched, interacted with -- not to mention the simple message of love -- was very comforting to me. It was like he was telling me he's still here, even when he's not.
I say all of this of this is to tell you this: Please don't disregard the power of your handwriting to make a difference in someone's life. I know we live in a digital age when most things are "signed" online, but please take the time to send out real, honest-to-goodness mail. Send cards. Write letters. Send thank-you notes. These are the things people will keep and, with any luck, will be the things that will stop your loved ones in their tracks someday, maybe even long after you're gone. Your handwriting is a piece of you. something as unique to you as your fingerprints. Never underestimate the power that a simple signature can have on someone you love when it's all they have left of you.
I love you, Dad. I miss you. Good night, sleep tight....you know the rest :)