Is your handwriting readable? Mine used to be very much like the Palmer Penmanship program teaches. I loved practicing the letter shapes for hours. I liked seeing my neatly written “r’s” and “q’s” especially when connecting the letters.

However, when I was actively teaching, I was always in a hurry and because I was an English/writing teacher, I had to write notes on student papers. And, even though I was always in a hurry, I could never return a paper without some comment/s. I forced myself to write some kind of general overall remark if nothing else.

That kind of handwriting certainly provided a personal touch, but it was less than satisfying and even more so if the comments were negative.

For other writing I always wanted a “personal touch” and I felt hurt if I received a Christmas card with only a signature from the sender. I did not think about what it took for the person to choose the card just for me, until one day shopping with my Mom, who told me what a hard time she had picking out the card that contained just the right message. She thought the message written by someone else was her message since she had chosen it and also because she felt she could not write a better one or even the one that was in her heart.

It was worse for me to receive a birthday card that contained no personally written message from the sender.

As I write this, however, I wonder which is worse—to receive a card with only a signature or to receive no card at all? At least receiving a card means the person thought of me, right?

It’s the personal touch, isn’t it? In a world where less personal interaction happens, we become more isolated, less related, always yearning.

So, even if the friend typed a note, wouldn’t that be better than no note, at all? Yes, I think so, even if I still want more. It feels similar to yearning for God, as Augustine says, but we will never be satisfied until we see God.