Usually, the only things we get in the mail anymore are bills and advertisements. Sometimes, a birthday card shows up from a family member or an invitation to an event, but for the most part, if people want to drop you a line they either text, email, or use social media. As time and technology progress, so do our means of communication, leaving the old handwritten note or postcard out of the picture except in very rare circumstances.
It’s a shame, really. Think back to being in grade school and getting a letter in the mail from a penpal or writing your parents letters from summer camp. It’s just not the same in the 21st century.
Imagine walking to your mailbox, expecting to see the usual junk mail and monthly bill and finding a postcard sent to you 60 years ago? Sounds a little far-fetched, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what happened to one nursing home resident last month.
Sharon Gongwer, a resident of Waterford Crossing senior living community, received a postcard from her mother Mary dated August 26, 1958. The postcard described Mary’s travels and adventures while she was in Southern California and had a photo of palm trees lining a neighborhood street on the front.
“It’s a touch of my mother. I don’t have many of her things anymore,” Sharon said of her recent delivery, that was actually mailed to her 60 years ago.
So why did it take so long to get to her and how, after all these years, did it find her at the nursing home? That’s another amazing twist to the story…
Christine Combs, the manager of the Quality Inn & Suites in Goshen, Indiana, was cleaning out filing cabinets and came across the postcard in one of the drawers, which cost only three cents to mail back in 1958. She has no idea how it found its way to her hotel.
“I looked at the date and thought, how strange is that?” Christina said.
The postcard was addressed to “Miss Sharon Ann Gongwer” of Wakarusa, Indiana, so Christine took a longshot and decided to look up the name. She found the recipient at Waterford Crossing, just two miles from the hotel! So, Christine called the nursing home and made arrangements to meet with Sharon. The two met up in the home’s lobby and Christine handed the postcard to Sharon. To make it even more incredible, the handwriting is in pencil but every word is clear and legible without any fading whatsoever.
“To have a postcard in this good of condition is amazing,” Sharon said as she thanked Christine for bringing it to her.
“I’m glad I could make you smile today,” Christine replied.
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