Quilt Snail mail to support those hurting

When I was younger I discovered a clever way of getting out of housework. I would write letters and draw little pictures in the letter for my younger cousins. My Mom loved her family so she would allow me to work on those until I was finished. Funny, it always coincided with the ending of the cleaning.

As a result I became an early fan of letter writing and cards. I wrote my parents faithfully from college and when I was in Spain. My mom wrote me back and saved all my letters.

My early habit was now reinforced and has remained to this day. It was really solidified when my Mom got cancer when I solicited cards for her. I opened up her address book and called everyone in it, asking them to send her a card.

They did and they included pictures and wrote about memories. They called and cheered my mom up. One local person anonymously put baked treats at the gees-bendback door for the whole two years.

My mother’s enjoyment of that has always stayed with me. I have lots of cards and stationery, many of which have quilt pictures on the front. I use them and send quilt snail mail to support those hurting.

Over the years I have sent cards to friends, relatives, neighbors, parents of students and some people I barely know. Many have lived and expressed gratitude. Others have not survived which breaks my heart.

Currently I am down to one correspondent, my Mom’s sister. I write her every week or so because she is such a wonderful link to my Mom. My husband and I drive to St. Louis to see her about once a year.andy

I had another card recipient until recently. A man to whom I was sending cards lost his battle with cancer this weekend. I knew him in High School, he was in a few of my classes; in high school he was a bad boy and I was a total nerd.

He pretty much scared me to death in High School. He was quick witted and at that point in my life, I didn’t challenge males. (I’ve since changed, ha ha.) I tried to fly under the radar to avoid being the object of his comments.

I had a best friend in high school whose mother was very easy to talk to. I would tell her about my fear of him and she would tell me that I should look inside him. My friend underscored that message so I kept it in my head.

andry-re-2I organized my High School reunions for 10 and 20 years. Here is part of the photo from the 20th with a pink arrow to me and a blue arrow to Andy. We had grown up and we exchanged a few words.

I had organized the reunions with a gal pal who lived close to me but she passed away shortly after the second one. I chose to not pursue this activity anymore, I couldn’t do it without her. We didn’t have another one until 2013 for our mutual 60 years on earth.

We had left each other at 18, checked in at 28 and then again at 38. Twenty two years later we gathered in a back yard and those people my age, they were old! I actually was surprised to see who showed up.

Right before I left the reunion I went up to Andy and told him how he scared me in High School because of his mean spirited barbs. I told him that I had been informed that there was more to him than meets the eye back so I was letting him know my feelings from way back then. I surprised myself and Andy.

He couldn’t believe it. He said some apologetic things and I accepted them. We had a few laughs and I left.14344698_10206886989599650_171331119510686364_n

Later on he posted an effusive apology on my Facebook page and revealed some extremely complimentary feelings about me back then. We chatted a bit back and forth and son of a gun, we were mature now. Shortly after that he told me that he had cancer.

A few more chats followed and then I started sending him cards. He sent me cards back, the first time someone had done that. He had interesting stories about his father suffering in Russia and a deep love of ballet and art.

The last time I heard from him was his holiday card. In it he wrote, “thanks for being my pen pal.” I felt that this was a sign of his life slipping away.

I stepped up my card sending, hoping he might get a ray of friendship among the drugs, pain and suffering. I wrote about many things and always wished him peace.

This past weekend he found his final peace. I was glad that he and I had chosen reconciliation and forgiveness in this crazy world of ours. We learned from each other and helped each other along the road of life.

Not too shabby an accomplishment with some quilt note cards and a bit of ink.

Sew happy!

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I published 2 posts before on how much I like Thank you notes. Read the first by clicking here. Or the 2014 post by clicking here.

Filed under: advice, Writing

Tags: cards, pen pals

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