Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Friday, April 24, 2015

Envelope Shock

This envelope arrived in the mail the other day, and my brothers could tell you immediately why it shocked me.

Oh, I realized pretty soon that it wasn't what it initially appeared to be--a letter from my mother. The stamp is not the sort she uses ... used. And the return address on the back flap is clearly from a mass-mailer (I've not opened it as I type these words).

But what is eerie to me--and no doubt to my brothers? The handwriting looks impossibly like my mother's. And although she is alive (she's 95), she has not written to me in several years, and when she did write then, her penmanship was no longer as neat as what you see on this envelope.

But it was just like this writing.

Mom rarely wrote cursive. Even her signature on her personal checks was "printed," as we used to say (do we still say that?).

It's not that she didn't know how, of course. She was an English teacher for much of her early career; then, when she finished her Ph.D., she became a teacher of teachers. So she preferred printing--that was all.

As she got older, her penmanship, like just about everything else, began to collapse. (Isn't aging wonderful?) I've tried several times right now to scan one of her letters, but the scanner is refusing to cooperate. Somehow, I think Mom has something to do with that.

She really is among the most remarkable of women. Of human beings. And so I have no doubt whatsoever that she could reach out from 550 miles away (she lives in Lenox, Mass.) and shut down my scanner--as if to say, That letter was to you, Danny--not to the whole world.

Yes, Mom. I know.

I just opened the red envelope, by the way. It's an offer from a Kia dealer in nearby Streetsboro to trade in our car. They'll give us a great deal--really.

Meanwhile, I've entertained the conspiracy-theory that mass marketers have somehow gotten hold of a database of our loved ones' handwriting to affect us emotionally as we open their offers.

But no one would create a database like that, right ...?

I know one person who most assuredly would not have put up with that ...

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