Blog, oh hey! I woke up this morning as usual, getting my oldest up for school and trying to not wake anyone else up. After the initial ‘wake up call’, I grab my phone and check email and look at updates. An Etsy Conversations email? A potential sale?? Awesome. Seriously awesome way to start the day. A gal wanted to know if I had more quantity than what was listed of my Lined Paper Stationery, because she was going to send her boyfriend letters while he was deployed. She also wanted to make sure the cards were “big enough” because he was going to be gone for 9 months, so she’d need room to write! I emailed her back saying I absolutely could make more and reiterated that it was a fold over card, so there was plenty of space to write on. Enter: the sale. She wanted 20, and I happily obliged.
WAIT. Hold the phone. Did I read that right?? She is buying my stationery to write her boyfriend, who is about to be deployed?? As in, these are going overseas to be a small part of a long distance love? At that moment I was instantly transported in my mind to my Grandmothers’ home, with my Father clearing out the house after her passing. I was about 22. This was many years ago, but I will never ever forget it.
Standing next to my Father in his Mother’s room, at her dresser in the corner. It’s never an easy thing to deal with emotions that surround losing a loved one. To the right was a large window, and we would take turns staring out of it and trying to keep it together while sorting and boxing belongings up. I remember I was the one that rummaged through the drawer when we found them, the things placed there and probably not looked at since my Grandfather’s passing 8 years earlier. An old school Gump’s Department Store box, the contents of which was awesome and also awe-inspiring. My Grandmother had kept the letters she and my Grandfather sent each other while he was serving in the Army in WWII. Most of them were from his deployment in North Africa, which was something I hadn’t been told. I knew he served, but that was it. So after the short history lesson about occupying North Africa as a tactical move, we continued through the box. His dice, some photos of him and his Army buddies while stationed, two packs of 40’s topless pinup girl playing cards, his dog tags and his medals. For me, it was a treasure trove of what kids don’t pay attention to when they’re young. At the time, I was more moved that these letters still existed than anything else. I didn’t open them, because I wasn’t sure this was the time and I didn’t know if my Dad would even be open to me reading them. It just felt like I should ask his permission. So I didn’t ask.
Today I kicked myself mentally because this day occurred about 12 years ago. I saw the box my Dad had labeled for himself “to go through” of my Grandparents things, from that day, recently in the garage. I’ll have to think of a way to ask to go through it… because I really want to see the letters again.
Back to the stationery sale today – I was just so thrilled to think back on finding old letters from war-time(s), that I took crazy care in putting her order together. I mean, I usually put a ton of effort and care into every order I put out, but this was so much more personal for me. After putting the cards and envelopes together, I included a small hand written note wishing her boyfriend a safe deployment and my best wishes. If the letters she writes to him on the stationery I made keep them close to each other… Wouldn’t it be lovely to be a part of a storybook ending? I think so.