My Dear Friend,
It has been a long, long time. So long that if I had not chanced upon you, you might continue to wander in the wilderness of my past, and never come to the fore again.
Seeing you again was a pleasant surprise.
Holding you again had stirred up some long lost emotion that had sunk deep within me. Though the length of time that had elapsed since I last held you had made their colours faint at first, they slowly started to fill my heart again, much like the emerging sunlight at daybreak.
Listening to you in different voices, different tones, different expression and different style of gesturing, telling me different stories once more had brought back such endearing emotion. The heart-felt warmth that lingered after listening to you then, I felt it again.
We had been through so much together. Although I’ve known you since childhood, your presence in my life was especially significant when I was away from home for my education. Living in a foreign surroundings, loneliness and emptiness were never far away, and helplessness was always lurking. You, by my side, had brought comfort, joy and hope to fill those voids. At times, I really needed that to go on.
How I longed for those comforting feelings then, and how they came back to me again.
I can’t remember exactly how and when, that we’d gone our separate ways. In fact, I was never fully aware about your absence, until we met again. I think we started to drift apart when my life took a progressive step into work places out from the classrooms. And the state of technology then had lured me, like many others, to turn to your successors, for their speed and convenience. But what was traded for speed and convenience, was something no others can replace.
The raw expression, the unfurnished emotion, the natural tone, the unedited thoughts, the sincerity and effort in earnest, the personal touches, the physical connection and all that made you unique, endearing and to be cherished were never felt with convenience, uniformity, virtuality and facelessness.
I do miss you.
Perhaps I’ll never see you again. Unlike those days, all who matters to me now are right by my side. But I hope my children, if they were ever away from me in the future, will be acquainted with you, somehow, and choose you to convey their feelings and thoughts to me. I hope they’ll write, instead of type, or give me an “address” and ask me, along with many others, to read their thoughts and feelings.
It’s nice to have met you again. And I hope I’ll see you again in the future. Do take care.
Someone whom you brought much joy and happiness to.
* I dug out a stack of old letters received during my overseas tertiary education while my wife was going through some old stuff.
Do you still write a mail starting with "My Dear Friend,", with pen and paper? And take the effort to buy a stamp, stick it onto an envelope, seal it and post it?