15 January 2011

The Birthday Card

My Aunt Carlene and Uncle Robert first sent it to my father in May of 1972. The text inside says, "Don't throw this card away ... Recycle it to a friend."

And that's what my family has done for the past 39 years, except for a few years in the late 1970s and again in the early 1980s when it got misplaced. In January 2008, I misplaced it again, and went through months of panic before I found it again in time for my mother's birthday in June.

It's long since fallen apart and is now held together by that string on the left side, which also holds an extra sheet of cardstock to note the various family members it's been passing between.

It's almost like a family bible with records of births and deaths in the end papers. And an emblem of the lengths of environmental awareness, or the depths of plain Yankee cussedness, that run through the family.

I'm proud to be one of them.