Thoughtful Thursday: Mailbox

June 2, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Welcome to the June Intelligentsia, the people who have commented on every Thoughtful Thursday post in May.

#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

Thoughtful ThursdaySince 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?


13 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Mailbox”

  1. Elana Kahn Says:

    I’ve ordered so much stuff from Amazon lately, I’m expecting all sorts of things! But had you asked me yesterday, I would’ve said Domperidone to help with my milk supply. I’d been waiting for a month and it FINALLY showed up today!!!! *skips around the room* Right now I’m waiting on most of my nursing school books, my Microbiology lab manual, some items that I’ll need for a craft show, a chest of drawers, toddler bed rails, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, new shoes for the Twinners who need them really, really badly.

  2. St. Elsewhere Says:

    A blog friend put together a project and mailed me the package. For one, I want to see its contents. I am waiting to see it. I also know that it would be one of the most precious keepsakes I will want to keep forever for CheekyBub, so I am waiting for it. Another thing I have received from Kristin at some point in the past is part of her childrens’ toys that she gave away – Garfield and Scooby Doo.

    I love the fact that one of my aunts always sends me cards for by birthdays, and my anniversaries and (this sounds bad) even when I don’t reply, she does it year after year. I like the cards, and keep them safe.

    One of the most unexpected things I ‘won’ and received was this package I received from Sassycupcakes. Why it was phenomenal was because I ‘won’ in choosing someone for the contest, and the loot I got was so great that I seriously wonder what the actual winner received. She sent me a soft toy, and chocolates and vegemite and this great soap.

  3. Rebecca Says:

    I hope you can make friends with your aunt now?

    A stationery order from Inane, I know.

  4. Heather Says:

    I have an aunt that sends me lots of cards too! I don’t have any pictures of my husband as a child. I have a whole photo album of me as a child nearby where I am sitting right now. But my DH was one of 8 children. They have boxes of pictures somewhere but someone would need to go through them.

  5. Ana Says:

    I get nearly daily Amazon orders, but mostly utilitarian stuff (diapers and the like!).

    My birthday was last week, & I was eagerly awaiting cards from my family—only got one in the mail, though. I guess the facebook or text has taken over…pity.

    I just won a book from a blogger, and will be eagerly awaiting that one, though!

  6. Cat Says:

    Unfortunately we don’t get many interesting items these days. I did just order my husband’s Father’s Day gifts from, so those will be fun to see.

    The photo collage travel mug will be shipped and I’ll pick up the other item in the store. I got him the same kind of mug last year for his first Father’s Day and he’s asked me to get one each year for him.

    I have painted canvases with one word on each: Happy Father’s Day. Each kid holds one, to varying degrees of success, and those are put together in a collage print that will go in the frame on the wall.

  7. Mrs. Blur Says:

    Diapers! Some really cute cloth ones to add to my stash! Not sure why I get so excited everytime I get a new cloth diaper, I have 6 already lol

  8. strongblonde Says:

    i ALWAYS like getting the mail…i always have. isn’t that funny? yesterday i got an athleta catalog that i was excited about, lol. today i got a netflix. we did get a few amazon packages this week: i got a new workout swimsuit, b got some new workout accessories. i expect a diaper shipment any day now. but nothing really extraordinary to look forward to. boo.

    on a different note, i’m so impressed and in awe of the relationships that people have with their mothers. i never speak to my mom on the phone. if she calls, someone has died or is in the hospital. we barely talk when we’re together in the same room. she’s not mean, just negative, and i’ve always kind of got the sense that she doesn’t like me. isn’t that sad? i’ve always wished for a better relationship with her.

  9. Photogrl Says:

    Oh, I feel for you with the frustration of closing accounts of a loved one. It’s been over 7 years since my mother died and 4 times a year I receive a statement from her 401K. I closed the account after she died, but her matching funds for that quarter hadn’t been deposited yet, I guess. I can’t bring myself to take care of it…

    As for expecting something in the mail, I’m looking forward to a couple of free samples I signed up for…and anything that isn’t a bill 😉

  10. a Says:

    I’m waiting to see my computer come back in the mail – hopefully it will be repaired this time. Scratch that – I hope it’s still broken so I can get my money back and buy something decent!

    I get all cranky when I don’t get to go through the mail first. I just wish I got personal mail more often.

    Did I miss something? Why was your mom so closed off on the topic of her family? Do you think you’ll be able to have some sort of relationship with your aunt?

  11. Mel Says:

    It’s not that interesting, but I’m waiting for Verizon to send a second replacement phone since the first one they sent was also crap. So I’m waiting for crap to replace the crap I have…

    Photographs are the thing that would mean the most to me to receive. They’re what I always want to inherit.

  12. Tara (TIMO) Says:

    I love getting magazines in the mail. I only get 2 (Better Homes and Gardens & Renovation Style). BHG is monthly but RenStyle is quarterly. My face always lights up when I see that one because it’s such a surprise to receive.

    I hate getting letters from my Grandma. All she does is complain and vent about her health. They’re never positive. But the most annoying part is she refuses to call the boys by their names. She only refers to them as “Baby A” and “Baby B”. That was sorta fine when they were younger but it’s grown old.

    I hope you get your pictures soon. I think I mentioned but we have hardly any photos of my Dad as a child. They were thrown out when Grandma moved. She kept the curtains but threw out the pictures saying no one wants to look at them. Nav’s parents almost threw out pictures from his childhood in Taiwan for the same reason. We made blanket statements to both of our families that any and all photos can come to us if they are ever not wanted.

  13. A portable guard rail for a regular bed – to use for my toddler when we’re on the road… See how that goes.

    And I’m always disappointed when the mailbox is empty…

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