Pen Pals rock! Did you ever have a pen pal as a child? Our 3 youngest children have recently embraced the dying art of letter writing as a means of keeping in touch with some friends who moved several weeks ago. And today they received their first letters in the mail! To say that they were thrilled is a ridiculous understatement. There was screaming and squealing and ripping of paper as they tore the envelope open and devoured those words. It was a thing of pure beauty, i tell you. They laughed. They sighed. And when it was all over they ran upstairs and piled up on one bed and compared letters and shared “remember when” stories and giggled. About an hour later, i found them there…with notebooks and clipboards and pencils, spelling words for each other and arguing over who was going to write the address on the envelope. They even asked if we could include postcards with the next set of letters we send!
Unlocking the mailbox and finding that envelope that contained those letters made this afternoon like Christmas morning in our home. And for those few brief moments, the sadness of missing friends that has followed them like a black cloud these past 2 weeks was finally lifted. They found joy in just remembering what a precious gift it is to find friends and make memories. Good, true friends can be hard to find in this world where people come and go and change their convictions like Hollywood celebrities change spouses. I’m hoping that the thrill of these letters will strengthen their resolve to maintain relationships with the people who touch their little lives and hearts in this sometimes hard, always crazy journey we call “military life.”
This military lifestyle is both a blessing and a curse; full of big surprises and little ironies. I pray that at the end of the road our kids are better, more compassionate people who live lives of service and sacrifice…and that they share those lives with a few dozen pen pals along the way.