Thoughtful Thursday: Mailbox
June 2, 2011
#20: Elana from Elana’s Musings
#19: Lost In Translation from We Say IVF, They Say FIV
#17: A from Are You Kidding Me?
#12: Strongblonde from Strong Blonde
#4: Tara from Turkey In My Oven
#2: St. Elsewhere
Since my mother died, going to the mailbox has been a strange experience. for starters, I can no longer look forward to the letters my mother used to send every few days (even though we talked on the phone every day). Instead, the hand-written letters have consisted of condolence cards from people who either don’t use email or who have thought that the death of one’s mother deserves a physical card (including a couple of bloggy friends). I don’t know if the trickle of letters has dried up, or whether there are any others that will unexpectedly show up in the future. Even though they usually make me cry, I really appreciate each one.
For quite a while, I waited for the death certificate to arrive — not because I want it, but because various bureaucrats demand it before they will let you move on with your life. Eventually that came. My father told me that seeing his copy hit him hard, and so I expected the same, but really it was just a piece of paper.
During the same period, I have also waited for two items that I won in an online charity auction. The first one eventually arrived, and was delicious (s’mores with homemade marshmallows):
I’m still waiting on the second one, two months later, which is slightly annoying but also brings great excitement to each visit by the postman (or could it be the UPS guy? Burrito and Tamale also love seeing him drive up in his truck, not even knowing that he might be bringing cake — not that I will be sharing with them).
There’s one other unusual item I’m still waiting for: when I called my aunt to inform her of my mother’s death, she told me that she’d send a bunch of photos from my mother’s childhood. I had not spoken to my aunt in literally 20 years, and except for a couple of brief in-person visits when I was a kid, the extent of our contact was always me answering the phone and her immediately asking to speak to my mother. The notification call was the first real conversation I ever had with her. She told me that she has asked my mother for my contact info many times, but that my mother refused. These photos are even more precious than they would normally be because I have no photos of my mom before college — in fact, in my entire life I have only ever seen one photo of her as a child, one of her father (who I only recently learned has been dead since before I was born), and zero photos of anyone else from her family. I asked my mother to acquire these photos over and over for years, but she always put me off (sensing a pattern?). I have photos of my father’s ancestors going back four generations, and photos of my husband’s family going back three generations — photos that were guarded through wars, the Holocaust, and emigrations — but I do not have a single photo of my own mother as a child. Yet. Until the day, whenever it may be, that my aunt’s package arrives.
What is the next interesting thing that you expect to show up in your mailbox?