When I was growing up, my great-aunt would send my mother envelopes stuffed with crossword puzzles cut out from the local paper. My mom always loved to do crosswords (she and my grandfather share that hobby) and I think the care packages may have started when she was away at college and continued on through marriage, two kids, subsequent moves, etc. Every so often there'd be an explosion of half-done crosswords around the house - a few in the kitchen, a few next to Mom's chair, some tucked up by her bed, and even a couple set carefully with a pen on the back of the toilet.
Those are actually the first crosswords I remember peering at, trying to puzzle out the rare spots my mother had left undone, racking my brain for an answer while my brother beat on the door and howled that I was taking too long and he needed to go nooowwwwww....
After Bertie died, a fluke in the mail delivered one last envelope addressed in her tiny careful printing, the folder heavy and full,with even a brief note for my mom to treasure among the newstype.
It always seemed like such a loving thing to me. Great Aunt Bertie subscribed to the Louisville Courier-Journal daily, my mother lived far away, why not send them if they would be enjoyed?
And they were.
Last week I found an email in my in-box from my grandmother, (who is bravely learning all this computer mumbo-jumbo so she can keep up with her far-flung grandchildren) telling me that some books were coming for the children. Yesterday a beautifully illustrated book of children's bible stories came, with the notation inside that this book had once belonged to my great-uncle Louie (and then my grandmother) and...a clipping about helping your children learn to read.
A clipping from the Courier-Journal.
Sometimes it doesn't take much to let us know we're treasured.