Wednesday, January 9, 2013

patron saints of snail mail.

So rarely do we get to hear a great mail story (especially with the financial straits of the post office these days), that when two occurred over the holiday season I figured I just had to share:

First: this summer I sent my aunt a postcard from Petra, Jordan addressed only to "Aunt Barb" and accidentally sent to her work address, which happens to be the very big University of California San Diego.

While most university mail directors/interceptors would have balked, this kind soul attached a note to the postcard reading "We are trying to find the right Aunt Barb, if it's not you, please forward to the next Barbara in the campus directory."
Well, my little postcard went through over thirty "Barbaras" documented via the university mailing system before finally finding the right one just before Christmas break. Which means over thirty people took the time to find another Barbara on campus and forward it to them.

And then: I received this email from my cousin Sandra when I asked for a return address in reply to the sweet postcard she'd sent me while studying abroad...

Cousin! So glad you got your post! You won't believe the story behind its arrival. I had a little paper bag full of posted postcards that I had written to friends all over the world and somehow, I still don't quite understand how because I was being so careful, I lost it while I was roaming around London one day very near Christmas. As you can imagine, I was absolutely heartbroken that all of my written treasures had been lost and that I would have no way of knowing where I had left the bag. I hate losing things and I hate that feeling of not knowing where. But as soon as I got home I started to receive emails and voicemails from friends and family thanking me for the good wishes! Some lovely person must have found the bag in London and popped them in the post box for me! Hurrah!

...I like to think these thoughtful moments to take time for written correspondence inspired strangers to magically rally around it.
From Wikipedia: A patron saint is a saint who, in Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Catholic Christian practice, is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person. Patron saints, because they have already transcended to the metaphysical, are believed to be able to intercede effectively for the needs of their special charges.