My siblings and I don’t usually exchange Christmas gifts, but when I received notification in the mailbox that I had a parcel to pick up at the post office, I immediately knew it was from my brother Eric.
The next day when the postal clerk brought out the package from the back room, I knew right away it was a calendar. And my next thought was my brother had made a personalized one with photographs of our mother, who had died in 2016.
When I got home and opened it, I discovered I was right! It was a calendar and my mother’s face stared up at me. It was my mother, wasn’t it? At first glance, yes. I peered closer. No, it wasn’t.
My mother had been a nurse, granted only for a short time, if at all, for I’m sure she didn’t work after she married my father almost immediately after graduating nursing school. And a year later, after I was born, she didn’t work outside the home.
I peered at the calendar again. Yes, it was my mother’s face.
No, it wasn’t.
Still, the woman resembled my mother. The package had to have come from Eric, a bit of a prankster, and he probably sent it to each of his siblings as a semi gag gift.
But there was no name, no return address. Who else would have sent it but him?
I had slit the two pieces of taped cardboard to withdraw the calendar. Maybe I missed something. I pulled apart the cardboard. A card!
Yep, it was from Eric: “I saw these in a store and figured everyone would want one as it looks so much like Mom.”
I laughed. How funny. Did I have ESP?
My other brother called me the following day. After chitchatting for a bit, I asked, “Did you get a present from Eric?”
“Yeah, you, too? I thought it was just me, that I was special.”
“Ha ha,” I said. “At first, I thought I was special, too, but when I saw the calendar, I immediately knew he’d sent one to each of us. It really does look like Mom, doesn’t it?”
I relayed my ESP story, which he thought pretty amazing. Turned out, he had no clue who had sent him a nurse calendar either, and he, too, also had to search for the card since he had slipped out the calendar as I had.
After we hung up, I wished I could pick up the phone again to call my mother. She would have gotten a kick out of the story.
Miss you, Mom, this second Christmas you’ve been gone. Hope you and Matt are keeping each other company.
And thank you, Eric, for a sweet thought!