santized sentiments

I spent an inordinate amount of money on cards today. Not only is that in and of itself disturbing – what with me stuffing Hallmark’s coffers – but so was the actual types of cards that I had to purchase.

On this day, it was three mother’s day cards, a baby card and a sympathy card. Over the last year, in addition to the regularly scheduled holidays, I have been required to attend to a larger number of both births and deaths. It’s been unsettling. It, logically, is not surprising; all my friends are in the settling-down-and-raising-a-family stage and everyone’s older relatives are, well, getting older. But it still makes for a strange time, and a strange way to have to communicate.

There are only so many ways to express the expected and necessary sentiments without becoming cheesy and insincere. And, when the sentiments are being sent long distance to distant friends and family, the phrasing becomes even more generic and prone to sounding lameass.

It should be enough to just be there even if, by being there, it’s through a phone call or email. And it would be nice to think that the people I care about know that I’m here. But that just doesn’t seem to cut it. There almost has to be a visible expression of joy or sorrow by way of cards, flowers or gifts for it to sink in.

The one year anniversary of my sister-in-law’s passing is coming up in a few weeks and, of all people, she embodied giving-of-oneself the most. I think that, on May 11, after I’ve already sent all my cards, I’ll sit still for the evening and just think about Tricia, my Nana, Gord, Lloyd, Shea, Rebekah, Sydney and everyone else for whom or to whom I’ve sent a card, flowers or a gift this past year.

They won’t know any better, but that’s not the point.

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