I don't card people enough, meaning that I don't send cards often enough. I buy birthday cards, but most times it's for the people in my family, or for birthday parties of my children's classmates. I send Christmas cards. And if I'm going to a wedding or a bridal or baby shower, I buy a card. Those are the "mandated cards".
But it's the other cards, the cards that tell someone you care, the birthday card that comes from a friend who remembered your birthday and wanted to make you feel special, those are the special ones.
Over the past 2 days, I have received 3 such cards. One was a card from a woman in my town whom I've always admired. I have described this woman and another woman in my town as the first ladies of Winchendon. The reason for that is because they are both so giving, they give of their time, their resources and in doing so, they give of themselves time and again, and they do so, not for a reward or recognition, but just because it's who they are. I would consider this woman a friend, although I don't know her phone number and we have never spent time together, other than to be at our children's basketball games together many years ago. The card had an inspirational quote on the outside, but the words on the inside are what really spoke to me. This woman was simply taking the time out of her busy life to send me a card telling me how much she enjoyed my recent blog about our town and how it affected her. I was humbled by her words and by her kind gesture, and she made me smile on a day where my smile was hidden behind a cloud of sadness.
That day's mail also brought a birthday card from one of my first friends in Winchendon, a fellow hockey mom whose son was the first to befriend my son on his first day in 3rd grade at a new school. She and I don't get together often, and most of our interactions were also spent at shared sporting events or driving our children to each other's homes, but she is a special friend. It was she who I went to during the difficult junior high and high school years when progress report and report card days made me cry and feel so discouraged and lacking as a parent. It was she who I cried to on my way home from parent-teacher conferences. It was she who was a true friend and wasn't afraid of angering me or hurting my feelings when she told me that I needed to try a new approach and to loosen the reins a little, even if it meant letting my child fail. She was the voice of reason for me, and it was my great respect and admiration for her that made me take her advice on more than one occasion when I am normally so set in my ways. It is also she who inspired me to write a blog after reading her passionate and heartfelt words in her own blog, and not only is she a fabulous writer, but she bares her soul and speaks from the heart, and I admire that.
Today I received a birthday card from another dear friend who I had lost touch with for many years until we reconnected on Facebook a couple of years ago. This friend and I were inseparable when we were in our late teens. She knows my secrets and has kept them, she was my confidant, my other half, and her home was my second home. We laughed together, cried together and have many great stories to reminisce about for hours. We lost touch after I became a mom at a young age, and over the years, I missed her. There was no big argument, no fight, we simply lost touch as our lives went in two different directions. I remembered wondering what she was up to and wishing I could call her when I got engaged, married, and had my other two children. But I always thought it would be awkward to call her after all that time had passed, and I wondered if it would be a conversation filled with silence and awkward moments, or if she missed me too. After reconnecting on Facebook, we made plans to get together. I drove to her home an hour and a half away, and I was so nervous and excited. I had butterflies like it was a first date, except I wasn't worried about the end of the date, but the beginning. I walked to her front door, and she came running toward me. We hugged in a way that only 2 reunited friends could, and we both cried. At that moment, no words needed to be said, as her hug told me all I needed to know: my friend missed me too. We don't get to see each other often, but we talk occasionally, and when we do, it's all day for hours. It seems that we never run out of things to say, just the way it used to be, as if time stood still, and we hadn't been apart all those years. And the card today was a reminder of some of our times shared along with her words of comfort and love. It was perfect and just what I needed.
So don't underestimate the power of a card because for me, "getting carded" these past couple days meant the world to me.