Saturday, January 22, 2011

National Handwriting Day

In 1977, the Writing Instrument Manufacturer Association declared January 23 as National Handwriting Day.  Their purpose was "to alert the public to the importance of handwriting".

The date is also the birthday of John Hancock, the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.  Mr. Hancock was known for his large and bold signature, and his name has long been associated with signatures of all types on many forms of documents.

In this age of computers and fast paced lifestyles, it seems so much easier to send emails, ecards and evites.  Yet, it is sad to contemplate a world without handwriting.
It is something that is personal and unique to each of us.

Years ago, I was much better at sending handwritten cards and letters.  Owning and running a business, I let that simple act fall by the wayside.  Recently, while undergoing my many surgeries and recoveries, I remembered how very powerful the handwritten note is.

Cards and letters brightened my days.
I could hold them and feel them.
The bright colors were visible even to sore and swollen eyes.
They were my best medicine.

Among my treasures, are cards and letters from those no longer with me.

Mother never knew what an email was.
All of our communication was done via mail or telephone.
I have many letters that she wrote to me through the years.  Their words still hold so much wisdom and love.

When Mother and Daddy would take off on jaunts here and there, the postcards would begin to fill our mailbox.  It seemed as if we were on the journey with them.
After Mother passed away, Daddy continued to travel.
The postcards still arrived.
I also try to send postcards to friends and family as I travel.  However, with each trip, I discover it more difficult to find and purchase postcards.  It makes me sad.

Some of the most cherished, but most difficult to read, handwritten notes are ones received following the deaths of loved ones.
They bring comfort and tears at the same time.

There is also the note written by a cherished niece.
It was still lying on the kitchen counter with other mail when we received the news of her tragic and untimely death.  This small piece of paper, with a cross and heart, speaks almost more than the words of her note.

My sister's handwriting could rival that of Mr. Hancock.
She was also known for her very large and bold handwriting.  It was definitely an extension of her personality.

While he strongly dislikes it, my son's handwriting is the type that warms a mother's heart.
I remember many occupational therapy appointments and hours of exercise to get those little hand muscles to work properly.  It may be a signature that only a mother could love, and this mother definitely loves it.

This is the handwriting of which I will never tire.

I vowed this year that I would do a better job of sending handwritten notes and cards.
I have already fallen behind on writing all my thank you notes for holiday gifts.

So, I will be spending a little time this weekend with these!

Wishing you a happy weekend, and maybe a mailbox full of love.


Mrs Mary Scott said...

My mom did have the most beautiful handwriting. I remember her trying to work with me on my cursive in third grade and finally throwing her hands up in exasperation at her left-handed daughter with horrible handwriting! :)Interesting blog. I didn't know there was a Handwriting Day!

DawnB said...

My Mum had beautiful handwriting which I did not inherit. I still have books that I received as a child with her writing inside, so special. My cousin and I have a postcard sending duel,she always complained that I never send any, I explained they are not as easy to find as they are in England, I carry 98c stamps now and have sent several from airports, she's happy

Maggie Harden said...

Jan, I loved your post. I actually signed in intending to write about one thing today, and changed it based on this.

Today, I received a Thank You Note from our Beginner Teams for the work I have done on their costumes as a volunteer. (I also received some chocolates and bath products)

But honestly I love the note the best. Both coaches left a small sentence with their signature, then the signatures of all the kids. Ages 7-14 I can imagine the kids passing the note around, making sure everyone signs it, as they do at that age. The note will go on my sewing room bulletin board along with other notes, trinkets from classes, nametags from conventions, and the like.


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