Today whilst I was on my lunch break, a delivery driver knocked on our door and made me cry.
Now, before we go and chastise him for his appalling behaviour, I need to tell you one thing. He had no idea he was going to make me cry. Why? you ask. Well probably because I had no idea I was going to cry. Let me explain…
When I opened the door, the box he had delivered was sat neatly on our very faded ‘welcome’ mat and when I glanced around the corner, he smiled and said ‘Jeana Marshall’, I replied, ‘yes’ and he said ‘Have a nice day!’ To which I replied, ‘You too!’ We both adhered to the social distancing guidelines like pros, obviously.
Just wait, I’m getting to the part where he made me cry.
I picked up the box and the first thing I noticed was the red, white, and blue ‘Priority Mail’ sticker which immediately signalled to me that this was a box from the homeland (that’s the USA in case you’re wondering).
Now at this point, I hadn’t cried yet, but I did feel myself getting all … all … emotional. Upon closer inspection, I saw a familiar name on the box, a name which always makes me smile when I think of her and a name which is connected to so many great memories even though we’ve never met face to face. Context: Back in the day a circle of us met and conversed on a website called LiveJournal and many of us are still friends today; coincidentally, that’s how I met my husband.
You see, this box could have had anything in it. Honestly, anything at all. It could have had a package of socks with a role of toilet paper (I mean, when are those two things not handy these days?). Just the sheer fact that it was a box from the States made me a bit…weepy. I know, I’m an ol’ softie, bite me.
When I opened the box, there was a letter (dated March 21, 2020) and on the letter were the kindest words, words which didn’t need to be said but words that were deeply appreciated. At one point in her letter, her words revealed that at 5pm that day, the governor of the state would be enforcing a statewide shelter order, keeping people home and safe from the spread of COVID-19. And what did she do? Before the deadline approached, she made time in her schedule, a schedule that includes juggling three children (not literally), to take a package to the post office so she could post it to her friend in the UK (that’s me).
Queue the tears.
I wasn’t ugly crying, give me some credit, but I did have one or two movie-style tears roll down my cheeks.
Let me clarify. What made me cry didn’t actually have anything to do with what was in the box, though oh my goodness we will enjoy what was in the box (think Girlscouts), but instead about where the box came from as well as who sent it and the sentiment she sent along with it.
It was from home, the good ol’ United States. A land that I desperately miss, a land we were planning to visit later this summer however with the current state of things, that may be put on hold for an undetermined amount of time. When I think about how much I miss home, tears gather and as much as I try to blink them back and be strong, a few manage to escape reminding me that I’m human and that it’s okay to long for that familiar feeling, for friends and family, the touches of home.
It doesn’t matter that my friend lives in a different state from Minnesota, what matters is that I associate her with home. And on a day where she could have been doing so many other things to prepare herself and her family for lock-down, she took the time to take a package to the post office, wait in line for who knows how long, and then pay the excruciating fees to ship a parcel to her friend who lives four thousand (give or take) miles away. I’m beyond grateful for her thoughtfulness, the gifts, and her friendship.
Do you see? Do you see why the delivery driver made me cry?