Last week, while I was still home from the Holidays, I made a BIG decision. I decided to part with not one, not two, but FOUR boxes full of cards. By the way, I don't mean the boxes cards come in in, nooo, I mean bankers boxes.
When we moved from our house in the suburbs to this condo in town, I was tempted to get rid of them, but then saw that we had enough space for me to bring them. So I did. Once settled in our new digs I thought I might part with them, but my current husband only had to say “It’s up to you, but you’ve had them for 40+ years, and we have the space, so, no real need to do it, if you don’t want to…” I decided I would keep them.
You see, since I was born, my mother kept all birthday cards I've received, from the “Congratulations it’s a girl” to the time I was old enough to keep them myself. I had them all. As well as all the Christmas, Valentine, Easter, Wedding Invite, Baby Shower, Thank You, Funeral, you name it I had it.
After our tree and all Christmas decorations were taken down, I did the same with all the cards we received this year. – I know I’m strange or compulsive (whichever pleases you) because each card was in its envelope. I always wrote whom it was from and the year on the back. This year I didn’t do that. I kept all envelopes in a stack in the office, but when came time to take them off the door; I did put them back in their respective env. As you can see here, we get lots of cards. We’ve sent 109 this year and received 55 – not bad at all if you ask me! I just love cards, in case you haven’t figured this out by now.
Since we have to store everything Christmas in an “off-site” storage area, my favorite husband was hauling crates and such back to our condo so that I could put everything away. I had this idea of going through my cards. He brought me the boxes. I sat on the floor and embarked on a long journey down memory lane.
I went through each envelope and card. Forty-three years worth of … trust me it’s a lot! I found money, messages, laughed out loud a few times when remembering an event, etc. It felt good and somewhat sad to sit there and do this. I one point during the process I decided “it was time to let it all go”, so I started piling cards I wanted to keep (and scrapbook with), rip stamps off and piled envelops I was going to shred. It was a long process; it took me three full evenings. But man, what a trip!
Sunday I came across a letter dating back to 1984, from a pen pal in France. When I was in high school I had five pen pals: two in France, one in Germany (to practise my English), one in Spain (to practise my Spanish) and one in Greece (for English as well). I loved to write, and I still do. Using letterhead was always a favorite of mine. I corresponded with these people for a few years, but as we got older we had less time and slowly we stopped writing. I’ve never met any of them, only exchange pictures. One of the French girl and I did get closer (by writing more often, ha!) so when I saw her letter, I couldn’t help but wonder what she’d been up to. That night I looked for her on Bacefook and couldn’t find her. I also Googled her. I was happy to see a few names pop up. I continued my research here and there, trying to figure out where my odds were better.
Monday night, I decided to take a chance and wrote an email to a school district director showing a list of teacher with her name. I basically asked if they’d be willing to help me in finding a long lost friend, who used to live in such-an-area, with whom I was a pen pal back in the 80s.
Friday morning I received an email from her brother. My deductions were right. I did manage to find the right one. She asked her brother to contact me, since her pc is broken at the moment. I was, and still am, so excited. How cool is this? Blends have been, to me, what pen pals were back then. Friends I read.
2009 allowed me to reconnect with some old friends, which made me very happy. I guess I’m at a point in my life, where I need to let go of certain things and cherish others that I care and love.
I must say, it felt great to do this “sort”, since I found cards from old employers one even thanked me for putting up with his shit. I even received an award from a patient at a dental clinic I worked at, for being a helpful receptionist with her and her five kids. Re-reading some of these made me realise I did good, if only as a regular person trying to help others. I’m very happy about. It may not be the best ego-less thing to write, but at I needed this little tap on the back reminding me that sometime we touch people in ways we don’t realise… (geez, that sounded corny in more ways than one…)