During this week before Mother’s Day, I’m doing a series of radio interviews to promote my upcoming book, Make Mom Happy by Mail. Even thought the book is traveling slowly through the publishing process, I think it’s important to talk about the idea of connecting with our elderly relatives whenever I can. And during this week before Mothers’ Day, people seem especially interested in listening.
“So tell us what wonderful things we could send Mom for Mothers’ Day.” That’s the question I’m most often asked during the interviews. And while I could quickly rattle off a series of fun and funny things to send for Mothers’ Day, what I really like to mention is the importance of sending things on days other than Mothers’ Day – on the days when she’s not expecting the obligatory card or call. On the days when the mailbox is likely to be empty – the 97% of the days when the box is likely to be empty of anything except junk mail or bills.
Wonder how I arrived at that 97% number? Here’s how. I counted the days when we are likely to send a card; Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day (I may be stretching a bit here) Birthdays, Easter or Passover, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Chanukah. Then I added six assorted Get Well or Thinking of You cards. That would mean 12 days a year, cards arrive. And 12 days are approximately 3% of 365 days. That means that 3% of the days of the year, a card from you arrives in Mom or Dad’s mailbox and 97% of the days, there is nothing more than junk mail. Or nothing at all. (I remember noticing that my stepfather even read his junk mail because it was something new to look at!) And the days when something does arrive? I call those the Happy 3% Days
So I suggest to my radio interviewers that while it’s nice to get something in the mail on Mothers’ Day, it might be even nicer to find a letter, card, book candy bar or gift card in the box the week after – and the week after that – and every week during the year. Perhaps even 52 times. Perhaps more.
For a moment, please think of a loved one who would like to hear from you today. Now picture their face as they open an empty box. Now think how easily you could change that picture for the price of a postage stamp and a few minutes of your time. Now just lick (or stick) the stamp!
Please share your stories with me so I can share them with others.
Be well and bring joy.