Tuesday, August 16, 2011
"Dear Mr./Ms Mailman"
Dear Mr/Ms Mailman,
I'm sorry to hear that 20 percent of you will likely lose your jobs with the proposed cuts. Millions of folks using email now and that's reduced your stamp sale revenue as fewer Americans write letters anymore.
I just wanted to take this time, before you leave, to say thank you. Some of the momentous news of my life came via the mail. The first "mail event" happened to me at age 18. I had just returned home one day, after enlisting in the Air Force, only to find an Army draft notice in my mail box. Such irony that those two events occurred on the same day.
I still remember "mail calls" in Air Force basic training as we stood in our open bay barracks and rejoiced at every letter received from home, and equal envy aimed at those who got more mail than us. Once I got to Vietnam every letter from home was like manna from heaven! It was a reminder that there were family and friends waiting for us...and reminding us that our lives mattered to someone.
Mr. Postman, you brought me cookies and birthday presents and written confirmations of caring and love to me no matter where I was, whether Vietnam or Korea or Saudi Arabia. What magic!
Even now, like a rat chasing cheese in a maze, I am conditioned to go to my mail box, filled with hope that some missive of joy, some connectivity to others, will be in my afternoon mail. I'm more than willing to cull through the junk mail just to retrieve some written confirmation that my life matters to someone.
It is hit or miss these days. Long droughts of nothing but junk occupies that magic box. But, as a birthday, or Father's Day, rolls around I await with great anticipation that over sized envelope that offers me love in rhyme..or stick figure humor.
Mr./Ms. Postman, I expect, in the months to come, I'll be seeing less of you. So let me thank you now for all the joy and happiness you brought into my life. Through rain or sleet or snow...or extreme heat, you have always been there for me. Just as I admire those in military uniform, I have always had great respect for the uniform of the U.S. Postal Service. You have brought light and happiness to the darker corners of loneliness and I salute you.
May God bless you for the service you provide to our nation.