Today I went to my PO Box to retrieve my mail, and there was a certified letter. I thought the same thing everyone does, “Who is suing me?” I held the letter up to the light. I was ThisClose to refusing it. Then I remembered that were I being sued, a sheriff would just show up at my door. Yes, I realize that most adults don’t go through this process when receiving a piece of mail. I’m a lawyer’s kid. I can’t undo that part of me.
After a few minutes I decided that my curiosity would win out (as it always does), and I signed for the letter. I opened it with a mixture of excitement and dread. Certified mail is uncommon. Someone wrote a letter (uncommon), went to the post office (even more uncommon), waited in line, filled out forms and paid more than $3 to send it to me (downright rare).
The letter was typewritten and hand signed. It included formal headers, actual paragraphs and a closing statement. It was the opposite of an email or a blog comment.
Some of the letter included the phrases it included were, “Thank you for having the courage and social perspective…” and “I am a black man [sic] anyone with common sense would agree with you…” The letter referenced Servite High School.
The rest of it is mine to read. It’s a touching letter. I don’t know how old the writer is. I don’t know if he has children, where he’s from, what we might have in common. I don’t know anything about him except that he’s read at least one of my blog entries.
I know that I needed this letter. Every so often blogging feels like an albatross. The folks who disagree are very verbal, and all too often empowered by anonymity and distance. I know that social commentary matters. I don’t know when it matters, or how it can affect change, but I know deep in my heart these blogs we have matter.
I’m holding onto my mail. I’m glad I wasn’t too afraid to accept it. It means the world to me.