About once a week, I send a postcard to my Grandma in Wisconsin.
Now, don’t go “aww, how sweet” or any of that sappy crap, because really, how hard is it? Once in a while, I have to pick out and buy some Chicago postcards (which I really enjoy doing), and then I have to write a few lines to say hi and talk about what’s going on my life. Again, really, how hard is it? But she really enjoys it. And that makes me happy.
It all started about 3 years ago, when one of my other sisters suggested that we all call or write my Grandma once a week. Well, I pretty much hate talking on the phone (except for once in a while—or for the rare exception—my friend Diane—with whom I can easily spend 3 hours on the phone)...and I’m not big on writing letters unless they’re in e-mail format (my 90-year-old Grandma doesn’t even know what e-mail is)...so I came up with the postcard idea. It’s quick and easy and shows my Grandma I’m thinking of her. What’s not to like about that? The hardest thing to do is make sure I have postcard stamps on hand.
So now I’ve been writing her these postcards for a little over 3 years. And usually it’s something pretty mundane, like “The weather is so beautiful, John and I went for a nice long walk today.” Stuff like that. Stuff that pretty much describes my life—happy and relaxing. But once in a while I have something interesting to tell her. Maybe it’s the latest fascinating book I’m reading, or maybe it’s an upcoming trip we’ve decided to take...whatever it is, I slap it on the postcard and send it on its way. And when John and I do take a trip, I buy a postcard from wherever we are and do the same thing. It’s become a weekly routine.
About a year ago, while visiting my Mom and Dad, my Mom said, “I have something to show you!” and brought out a shoebox. In it were all the postcards I had sent to my Grandma for the past 2 years. Wow. There were so many of them! I began shuffling through them and reading the messages about my life for the past 2 years. Some of them were simple and mundane, but so many of them were reminders of things I’d forgotten, of experiences I’d had that were so long ago lost in the sea of my life’s memories. I was grateful that my Mom had kept them all, and very grateful for the many wonderful experiences I had had.
So now when I write a postcard to my Gram, I sometimes think about my future self and wonder how my message will be read 2 years from now. I can only hope and pray that I will be as happy then as I am right now.