Confession: I have an unholy love of stationery.
I have a whole drawer of envelopes, organized by size and color, in the hutch in our basement. Another drawer is filled with cards for all occasions. There’s a vendor at Eastern Market who sells cards, and I’m constitutionally unable to walk past without picking up one or two. There’s so cheap–only $1, usually–and so adorable! I could get stationery sets for every birthday and Christmas and be overjoyed every time.
My grandmother was brilliant at sending cards and packages. When I was in college, she sent me Harry & David’s cheesecakes and boxes of cookies at my birthday–or for Halloween–or for exams. After college, she sent me random cards just to let me know she was thinking of me, with newspaper clippings of my high school friends’ engagement photos, or articles from the hometown paper she thought I’d find interesting. For years I had a little cartoon on my fridge from her. It said how worry was like a rocking chair: it kept you busy but it didn’t get you anywhere.
I miss her cards. I miss her. There’s something so simple and uncomplicated about a grandmother’s love, not fraught in the way mother-daughter relationships can be. She was proud of me, thought I was special and brilliant, and she told me so all the time. If she thought I was less than fascinating, if she got tired of my chatter, she never let on. When I was sad or anxious, she was the one I called first. It’s been two years since she died and there’s still a grandma-sized hole in my heart. I wear her earrings for luck. When we broke one of the pink wineglasses she gave me at my wedding shower, I cried.
But she taught me the importance of thoughtfulness. I want to be that person for my friends and family. The one who sends cards and notes and care packages just because. Just to let them know I’m thinking of them.
I’m stalwart about Christmas cards (or postcards, this year) and handmade valentines, and pretty good about birthday cards (though I’m horrid at remembering to mail them in time). But the just-because cards–I’ve been slacking on those. It’s easy to get too busy.
This week my "homework" for my therapist was to think about what I wanted to do and not what I should do. (This is one of the reasons therapy is, imho, awesome.) You know what I found I wanted to do? I sent out five cards and a revision care package for one of my critique partners. It made me really happy.
This weekend I’m going to Michaels and getting materials to make Friendsgiving placecards. The thought of calligraphy markers and cardstock and decorative scissors makes me all shivery with excitement.

What about you? What do you think you inherited from your grandparents?

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