Wednesday, May 24, 2023

The Very Late Greeting Card


It is three months today since my mother died.

A card came in the mail today for her from my aunt, her sister-in-law. I thought that was odd - why was it addressed to her? Why wasn't it addressed to us? She knows my mom is dead. I opened it, and saw it was actually written TO my mom as though she were still alive and recovering. Then I looked at the postmark.

February 8th. The day my mom had her fall. The day an unmasked ambulance crew showed up to take her to the hospital. The day she likely contracted the COVID that would result in a massive stroke six days later, on Valentine's Day, a stroke that would lead to her death on February 24.

So from the time this card was postmarked it took THREE AND A HALF MONTHS to get to us in the mail.

Perhaps I will take it with me next time I go to the cemetery and read it to her.

The card at our family gravesite, May 25, 2023. I washed and scrubbed the stone off the other day, so there's a lot less lichen and bird poop on it than there was before.

(Some small consolation: This card was postmarked February 8, a Wednesday. There's a slim chance it might have been delivered Friday or Saturday, but odds are it wouldn't have gotten to us until Monday, February 13. I went to visit her in the early afternoon that day, before the mail is usually delivered. I would have probably come home to find it, would have mentioned it in my phone call with my mom that night - the last time I talked to her - and we would have probably agreed that I should leave it unopened and bring it up the next day. She had a massive stroke that morning, February 14, Valentine's Day, so she would never have gotten to see it anyway.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi. Longtime reader of your blog.
Regarding delayed mail from Maryland: my company has clients in Maryland (individuals, not businesses) that we send and receive postal mail with on a regular basis.

Over the past two years there have been so many issues with delayed mail delivery related to MD, more than any other state. When I’ve personally reached out to clients directly, horror stories regarding spartan delivery, overworked carriers, late deliveries, and rotating carriers because of turnover: I was saddened but not surprised to read about the late delivery of the card.

I just wanted to share my experiences to let you know that it was not an isolated incident. Since Louis DeJoy took over, the postal service in MD in particular has been a nightmare.