This is the second post for today. Please scroll down to read this week's essay.
My mother gave me this holiday card box many years ago.
It hangs right inside my front door. I don't empty the cards until we receive our first holiday card of the season. At that time, I go through all the previous year's cards to refresh my memory. Our family and friends are scattered all over the world. Many we haven't seen or talked to outside Facebook in more than a decade. Our main contact with them is through Christmas cards and letters.
That's how I see pictures of babies I knew who are now graduating from high school.
That's how I know that friends have had babies, job changes, breast implants, and vasectomies.
That's how I learned that my dear friend Karen H. in Wichita has cancer of the appendix. I hated that letter but was grateful for it, nevertheless.
There is a world of lives--triumphs, tragedies, celebrations, bragging, sharing--in that simple, beautiful box. It represents how connected we are to people we see and people we don't see, people we knew and cherished and never want to lose from our lives completely.
Sometimes we do lose touch. Sometimes the letters stop coming, and then I suspect divorce. Sometimes people just move, addresses get lost.
I wonder what happened to those friends.
How do you stay in touch with friends and family far away? What helps you feel connected to them still?