I check through all my online accounts as I do every day. Against a small amount of junk mail, friendly messages lend me a smile. In my postal mailbox: only recyclable material. I think back when I last received anything memorable. My thoughtful, dear friend (also my neighbor) would warm up that cold box of indistinct dimensions with her exquisite “thank you” or “just because” cards, causing celebration in my heart and head. The mind struggles. Many years have passed after all, since the death of my cousin – since that metal space offered wonders in personable envelopes from her. She always knew how to nourish our special mailbox-bond over the ocean. During her cancer treatments, too. Her only child – a one-year old at the time, now has non-deletable, unedited, time- and space-surpassing writings from her own mother. It is her only post-death connection to her mother’s thoughts, emotions, but also pictures from her various life events in her own hand-written descriptions. It is an irreplaceable gift of life thanks to standard mail.
The thoughts of my cousin takes me deeper into the past while I remember an aged individual – my grandfather. He rushes down in his younger dancing steps to the wooden mailbox. What came from his grandchildren would be added to his collection of our cards and pictures, kept on one of his living room walls. My letters, though, were only for his eyes.
My grandfather was not one of the “connected”, in today’s technology terms. His joy in and tie to life were dependent on the deliveries of his neighborhood’s postal officer. He would wait in anxious hope for one piece of personal paper sent on however rare occasion that may be. I recall the time when he placed his one and only overseas call to me: he had gotten both my letter and picture. That was the last time when I heard him in such joyous state. Soon after, he died. But not without receiving one more cherished writing from me to touch, smell and keep as long as he could – a connection to me that had always been so dear to his heart.