• I. L. Tanis

The Accidental Card

Hello all, hope this new year finds you well.

So I wanted to share something special with you all.

Last year, on this day, January 5th, my great uncle Peter passed from complications with Covid, and about two weeks later, great auntie Pat followed of the same. It was a shock, to say the least.

The Accidental Card

Great Auntie Pat and Uncle Peter, who lived in England, were a very special part of my life.

I only met them once in person, as a little girl, about the age of four, but I still remember them. I knew that my Great Aunt and Uncle over the sea loved me very much, and I always looked forward to the gift that came every year. Their passing at the beginning of last year was very hard for many, and they will be greatly missed.

Every Christmas we would have a special package from them, with gifts for each person in our family inside the bumpy white parcel we'd grown up knowing so well.

This Christmas, there wasn't.

Every birthday, there was a card for me. It was usually in a rose pink envelope, always a royal mail stamp on it, always with ‘God bless, xoxo love great auntie Pat and uncle Peter’ inside.

and at my 18th birthday, last September, there was no card.

But… there was, in a way.

In June of that year, 2021, my family moved to Nova Scotia from Alberta. Toward the end of August, two months later, less than a month before my 18th birthday, I was preparing to move to BC for my job. I was tackling the monstrous task of deciding what I would bring with me and rearranging everything, consolidating ‘my stuff’ from six boxes to four. If you know me, you’ll know this is a feat in itself.

As I was sorting through my special things, I went through my cards, and I specifically looked at the ones from Auntie Pat and Uncle Peter, each with the neatly written address on the envelope, a royal mail stamp on the front. I still hadn’t fully accepted they were gone, and even now, a full year later, it still hasn't fully sunk it.

Then as I was shedding tears and looking through each one, I found one I hadn’t opened.

It had a royal mail postage stamp on it. It confused me, why did I have an unopened card?

I opened it, and found that it was a card from Auntie Pat and Uncle Peter. She'd accidentally sent a second birthday card for my seventeenth birthday.

I don’t remember it happening, but it did, as this card would testify, because there’s a different card that I’d opened that year already.

I looked at it in wonder, and then I sat and cried, and thanked God that I’d found it. I needed that card, it was like a special goodbye, just for me.

An accident? From human perspective, yes.

And maybe it seems silly, but I got a final gift from them, in a very special way that I won’t forget.

I miss them greatly, and I know there are many other people who knew them a great deal more than I did who miss them, too.

I am thankful to God that I have the memories I do.

I can look at my birthday cards and remember with a smile the special people who gave them.

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