I couldn't believe my eyes when the name came up on 'call display' yesterday afternoon. It was the name and (new) province's area code of our neighbor that moved away a few years ago.
Her home sold so quickly that she didn't have a permanent address in her New Province before she moved. She promised to write and send us her address when she got settled. Two Christmases came and went and we never did hear from her.
I wistfully think of her from time to time.
Her husband died several years ago. They were so good to my Middle Son as he grew up. He grew into a man before their very eyes and he had the opportunity to repay some of their kindnesses. It was a grandparently kind of relationship that they shared.
We shoveled in front of each other's houses in the winter and chatted over the fence in the summer. Small acts of kindness were volleyed back and forth over that fence. She was (still is) my 'favorite neighbor' on the block.
It was a sad day when we saw the For Sale sign go up in her front yard. Sadder yet, when the entire sale transaction happened quicker than anticipated.
The promise of learning her address so that we could keep in touch was all that we had ... until she called yesterday afternoon!
We got caught up in the happenings of our lives and talked for quite some time before she answered the question that was burning in my mind. What prompted her to call out of the blue?
She answered my unasked question, "I was going through my Christmas stuff when I found the Christmas card that you wrote ... ". As I searched my memory to remember when I could have written it, I realized that card must have been at least three or four years old. "I am going to keep it forever ..." she continued.
The written word. The tradition of exchanging Christmas greetings in good, old-fashioned long hand. A keep-sake ... something tangible that you can hold onto. A few words scrawled on a folded piece of cardboard can bring a friend right back into your living room ... four years after the words were written.
That ... is why I still enjoy sending Christmas cards.