There was a time when my calendar was full of notations of peoples' birthdays and anniversaries. Each month I'd send out at least three, if not several more, cards commemorating these special occasions.
And then I stopped.
Up until the last few years of her life, my mom made a practice of keeping track of birthdays and anniversaries of everyone in our very large extended family plus those of many people she knew. She wrote out cards and mailed them so they would arrive on each person's special day. The birthday cards for little people always contained a two dollar bill, back in the days when there were two dollar bills. I can remember often hearing how much those cards meant to the recipients. Even to the big people whose cards didn't contain any money!
In my defense, I think I started slacking off on this practice when cards became so darn expensive. Not much of an excuse when you think of it.
I could have switched to using a piece of paper folded in half with the proper greeting written on the outside and a little note inside. That would have served the same purpose. It's the thought that counts, right?
Even now for the people I do send greetings to, it's almost always via e-mail rather than through the U.S. Mail. But that's just not the same, is it? Who saves an e-mail in a special box in their bottom drawer the way you would a card or handwritten note?
Note to self: It's time to re-start this custom of remembering and thinking of folks on special occasions, Mama Pea. Stop being lazy or falsely blaming it on a small expense.
No, I don't think I'll go back to stalking the card racks in the store, but I am going to start writing little notes so people will know I'm thinking of them.
We are all such a scattered group of family members and friends. The mobility of our society has put sometimes hundreds, if not thousands, of miles between us and the people we care about. Keeping a connection strong by the act of taking time to communicate the old-fashioned way on special occasions, using the mail service (or snail mail as we all refer to it now) is something I want to make a real effort to start again.
I know I certainly get a special feeling when I retrieve mail from our mailbox and find an envelope addressed to me with a return address of someone I care for.
Yep, time to fill in those names and dates on the calendar again, put pen to paper, perhaps even make a hokey handmade card, and let people know I'm thinking of them.