For the better part of fifty years, my grandmother and her sister, Margo, sent one birthday card back and forth to each other. It began when Margo was a bit overwhelmed raising her young children and had no time to purchase a new card for her sister’s upcoming birthday. She simply recycled the card her sister had sent her earlier that year and an accidental tradition was born. Through years of growing families, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even the deaths of their beloved spouses; that same card (pictured above) arrived each year on their birthdays without fail. Two years ago, Margo passed away, on that first birthday without her, Grandma was especially sad knowing that the card wouldn’t be in her mailbox. And then, to her surprise, the card arrived – Margo’s daughters wanted to ensure that their aunt received the special card one final time.
This story captures the sweetness of their sisterly bond. They shared a bedroom growing up during the Great Depression in the home of kind and loving parents. They spent days playing in the creek behind their house or climbing trees and summer adventures visiting family in the hills of Tennessee. Though as adults they moved to different cities and each raised their own families, they remained close. Some of my favorite memories were when all of the children and grandchildren gathered for family weddings – experiences full of joy and laughter. On the night of my Grandmother’s 90th birthday, Margo visited and they stayed up past midnight talking and visiting. They genuinely enjoyed each other’s company.
Theirs was a simple, loving friendship – an everlasting bond of two sisters who loved each other deeply. In these days of hardship and struggle, stories of such connection are a balm – a reminder of what really matters; love. Simply loving one another, connecting through traditions, such as a birthday card, or a late night conversation. May we all love each other deeply and reconnect with those who know us best.
So now, on her 94th birthday, I share the story of the traveling birthday card and the love of two sisters. Happy Birthday Grandma XOXO