It’s a beautiful day as I walk across campus to the mail center. I enter the code and unlock my mailbox. There’s a green slip inside. This can only mean one thing – I have a package!
I bring the slip to the counter, and the girl passes me a big, brown box. I can barely get my arms around it. It’s another care package from my mom! These always make my day, but I have no idea just how important this one would be.
I lug the box across the quad and into my dorm. I put it down to press the elevator button and feel giddy inside in anticipation of getting to my room to open it. I step inside and press the button for my floor, thankful that I’m alone in here so I can do my happy dance.
The elevator begins to move, and just as suddenly, jerks to a stop. I press some buttons in hopes of getting it going again, but no luck. The door opens a little, and then closes. It does this over and over again. When it’s open a crack, I can see that I’m stuck between floors.
OK, now I wish I wasn’t alone! I press the alarm button in the elevator to alert someone of my dilemma (these were the days before cell phones). It feels like it takes forever for a response. Finally, I hear a faint voice in the distance. “Are you stuck in the elevator?”
“OK, I’ll call the fire department and maintenance guys to get you out of there.”
About five minutes later, I’m told it’ll be about 20 more minutes.
My mind starts racing. What if the elevator suddenly drops? Or shoots up and then drops? How are they going to get to me – I’m stuck between floors? OK, just breathe.
Then I look down and see my care package. I sit on the floor and begin opening the box. As I read the card from my mom and check out the fun and quirky things she’s put inside, I almost forget I’m trapped in an elevator, suspended in air – almost.
As I pull out more and more of the contents, I do get lost in the excitement, and time quickly passes. Before I know it, a section of the wall opens up, and in steps a firefighter. Shit, that scared me more than the elevator stopping! Who knew that was a door?!
The fireman pries the elevator door open fully. Another rescuer is outside, standing on the floor to which the elevator didn’t quite make. I package up my box and we pass it up to him. He then gets on his knees, reaches down to me, and instructs me to place my hands in his. He proceeds to pull me up like a rag doll, being the big, strong hero that he is. I’m alive, thanks to him! And I didn’t totally freak out. That “not freaking out” credit goes strictly to the care package. My mom’s thoughtfulness kept me occupied during a time that could’ve been terrifying.
You never know how reaching out will impact someone’s life. Give it a go. Here are some suggestions:
- Mail a card to an old high school bud and reminisce about your past good times together.
- Leave some flowers on your neighbor’s doorstep with a note that reads, “Because you brighten up my day, I hope these brighten up yours.”
- Send a thank you note to a friend in appreciation for their presence in your life.
- Mail yourself a card and include five things you love about yourself. (Yeah, that’s right, I said mail YOURSELF a card, with a stamp and everything. 😉 )
- Write a note to a family member highlighting some characteristics you admire in them.
In this digital age, it’s such a joy to get a note or card in the mail, handwritten by the sender, or an unexpected treat to let you know someone cares enough to send more than a text.
I have two nieces who have just started college this year, and taking my mother’s lead, you can be sure I’m going to send them a surprise every now and then.
As far as my care package goes, no, I can’t remember the individual items that were in the box. At the time, it didn’t matter. What I do remember being in that box was my mom, and she kept me safe and calm.
Can you remember a time when a surprise note or gift really affected you? How do you feel in general when you receive a card from someone? Share in the comments below!