I was cleaning out a drawer in my desk today and came upon a rubberband-wrapped packet of postcards, views of Rome, Florence, Paris and a few other places that my grandma picked up on her various journeys around Yerp, as we call it here in the Hoosier state.
I was with her when she bought the postcards from Rome; the rest of the cards were from other times. There were some with views I didn't recognize, and I turned those over to see where they were from.
One of them had actually been mailed to my family in about 1972, from Paris. She mentioned that she was having so much fun; that she'd bought Pat, who was then only three years old, some liederhosen in Switzerland, plus cuckoo clocks for everyone and other fun presents that would be surprises. With her characteristic energy, she wrote that the group had been sight-seeing and shopping all day, but she was looking forward to going out to a nightclub with some friends later.
I read it once, then twice and thought how strange it was that the very configuration of a loved one's handwriting can make you catch your breath with one of those pains like you get when you've run too far too fast -- a stitch in the side -- twenty-seven years after she passed away.
Rome. Florence. Paris.
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