My Grandfather’s sister, Marcella, lives in San Antonio. I grew up in Houston so we’d go there every so often and Uncle Charles would tell us about the pecan trees in his backyard and Aunt Marcy would make us pecan pie and we’d eat brisket and mash potatoes. It was always cooler in San Antonio than when we left Houston and the adults would talk about humidity while my sister and I did cartwheel and handstands in the yard. I have this memory etched in my brain from a variety of visits spanning years and years. It was always the same.
After we moved to the North West, Aunt Marcy still sent us birthday cards, promptly, starting in 1989. There are a few things you can count on in life. Death, Taxes, and your birthday card from Aunt Marcy. She is timely, she never ever forgets, and there is never any money or a gift card in it. It’s a card. That’s it. Every year. And I love it.
Right now, with the move and all the puking and nausea, I go to the mailbox a lot less often. The trek up the hill to the group of boxes is a major undertaking and even then, the stash of mail gets piled in the “in box” until bills are (past) due. We’re living a new, very unorganized version of ourselves. (This is saying A LOT, people.) I could’ve titled this post, “Please don’t let me hold your baby or I will drop it like all the other balls in my life right now.” ‘Cause that’s about right.
I’m losing it quickly.
Friends have had birthdays, anniversaries, children, moved locations, graduated, won academy awards, the lottery, and lost relatives all while I sit in the midst of my boxes with my laptop and my two year old running around my silver puke-bowl and say, “Ummmm… Errrr…. Uuuhhhhhhhhh…......” and then I go take a nap because I can’t imagine what I was going to do.
Today I finally opened my birthday card from my Aunt Marcy. She is 87 years old, her husband has had major strokes and been hospitalized several times. She’s had a few grandchildren born this year and helped her daughter out of a sticky mess. Even so, she sends her great niece a birthday card just like she’s done for the last 17 years. Because Aunt Marcy is the pillar of hallmark. The woman is a rock. Or at least a paper one.
It’s such a tall order to live up to and I fail, miserably, every day.