Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Please, Mister Postman

Dear Rach,

There’s been quite a flurry of Christmas cards arriving this past week. Until very recently glossy, thick catalogs were crowding our mailbox (it never ceases to amaze me how many we receive between Halloween and Christmas!), but it’s been days since I’ve seen one and I’m sure our mailman is breathing a huge sigh of relief.

I’ve always loved getting mail, smiling to myself when I discover a hand-addressed envelope in familiar writing buried amidst the bills and junk mail. It’s such a rare treat these days. Grandmommy and Miss Leslie (my godmother, whom you never met) both kept in touch with me, sending long, newsy letters all in pretty cursive writing on gorgeous stationery. Mom and a few of my closest friends used to send long, chatty letters, but then email became the norm, and to be honest, it’s just too easy and immediate to avoid. I rarely write letters by hand anymore.

But Christmas cards still arrive via snail-mail and every December I look forward to sitting down each afternoon with the daily stack, savoring the letters (I know a lot of people complain or joke about these, but I love them) and admiring the photographs, always surprised at how much older the children look. I don’t feel that much older, so how can they be college graduates or married with children of their own??

This year’s Christmas cards evoke bittersweet feelings in the Scher home. It feels irrational to find myself not being happy for everyone else’s good news, but I suspect it’s quite normal for bereaved parents to have this almost uncharitable feeling when they look at the photographs of happy, smiling families or read about all the wonderful events that took place during the past year. It boils down to pure envy. I wish we were writing about the great times we had this past summer, proudly showing off pictures of our girls. And there were good things to write about (your college graduation… Amy’s return to TCU, majoring in Fashion Merchandising… her upcoming trip to Paris… Shaylyn’s achievements in her new preschool… and the incredible love and support from family and friends for not only our loss, but for Chris & Jen with their terrible scare with Chris’ cancer). But all this is overshadowed by your death and no positive thinking and “chin up” attitude is ever going to change the fact that you are gone. Even your little princess knows you’re never coming back. Ever.

In spite of my mixed emotions, I am very grateful to all those friends and relatives who sent Christmas cards to us this year. We are very fortunate to have so many people who care about us.

And who miss you, as well.




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