So I have this penpal. We got matched up through the Reform School. And come to find out… we’re VERY similar. And more than that, I felt an automatic bond, even from many states away. I’ve never spoken to her on the phone, yet I have an idea of what her voice sounds like. We’ve been sending postcards and letters back and forth for months now, almost always on handmade postcards or special stationery. We write to each other like long-known friends, long letters laden with her trademark flowery bubbly script and my messy half print half cursive block print.

My letters to her are often filled with angst, uncertainty about what I’m doing and where I’m going. I battle with many thoughts in my head, and it is immensely helpful to just write them out, lay them out there for someone who doesn’t know you (but in fact knows you quite well) to go through and sort. It helps to have someone else sort out your thoughts sometimes.

I wanted to create a very special present for my penpal. I wanted her to feel the love through this item, and know that it came from the best parts of my heart. So I started working. In between other projects I gave it a little time, until finally, about two months after I started it, it was finished. I knew she would just love it. So I sent it and waited excitedly (I tracked it through the USPS because I was mortified that she wouldn’t get it for some reason).

Little did I know that the very week that I sent her gift package, one of her beloved dogs had passed away. This penpal of mine and I… we love our animals. It’s a big part of what we share together… our devotion to our dogs and cats. Not even knowing that this had happened, I had sent my package right on time. She reported back that she burst into tears and that she couldn’t believe how perfect it was. How I knew her so well! It was just what she needed at that time, she said.

This is why I make things for people. This is why it matters to send mail. This is why connecting matters. Giving gives you just so much more in return…

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