I send a holiday letter to my Aunt Em (one of Dad’s oldest friends), even though I don’t hear back. She must the same age he is, 86 or so? Her husband died about 15 years ago; on a day Dad was visiting me. I may never forgive that boyfriend for not waking me up from the nap I was taking when that call came in. That was Dad’s best friend, and he sat there, stunned and alone in his grief while I slept. That boyfriend was clueless.
A year ago, I got a “this person has moved to this address” and my letter was returned, but I saved the address. I sent another one this year, somewhere up in Wisconsin. I don’t expect to hear back, but if she’s still alive — and her mother lived to 100-something — I want her to know that I think of her still, and fondly.
I got a letter from one of her sons tonight. My letter was received and enjoyed. She’s got dementia, like Dad does, and is living in a facility in Chicagoland, so maybe I will go visit her the next time I go see my Dad, if her son gives me the address.
Sometimes love is in the little things that you aren’t convinced really matter at the time you do them. The little things that would be so easy to skip. Just another holiday letter; I’m not even sure I have the right address. You just do them anyway and hope. Sometimes those letters make it, not to where you sent them, but to where they needed to go. They gave someone a smile, maybe only a brief one, but that’s all you could really expect to do.