Since 1967, I have been sending snail mail and parcels to Pat Desmond. She's the disabled sister of college classmate Anne Desmond. We met at Anne's house during the lost summer between college graduation and getting on with our rite of passage to adulthood.
Of course, life proved more difficult than any of us Baby Boomers anticipated. It was I who probably got more out of the letter-writing relationship than did Pat. Receiving something sweet and simple in the mailbox was a gift every week. Also, as the years passed and family died off and friends dumped me or I dumped them Pat has been one of the few who remembers my birthday.
This Christmas, there in the mailbox was a card from Pat, along with cards and letters from her sisters Mary and Anne. They are hanging in an undecorated apartment, a symbol of holiday good wishes even for someone who stopped celebrating Christmas decades ago.