From the time I was a toddler, my grandmother saved all my birthday cards. She saved them all in a box that, over the years, accumulated into boxes and boxes of saved birthday cards. She told me to never throw them away. She told me they’d always hold value.
When she died, I took all the birthday cards she’d saved and stuffed them under my mattress. By the time I was 26, she’d collected hundreds and hundreds of my birthday cards. Like The Princess and the Pea, I slept atop those birthday cards, slipping new ones under the mattress as they continued to arrive over the years. I told the only person who cared that, when I died, I wanted to be buried with all my birthday cards.
When I died, that person – the only one who cared – complied. At the funeral, I lay in the casket covered with cards. The mortician didn’t waste much time on my hair and makeup since I was completely buried in the years of cardstock offering greetings and well wishes.
The only person who cared gave my eulogy. He talked about my love of birthday cards and little else. It was a delightful speech, and I was especially happy he didn’t mention how most of those cards in the casket had been sent from my grandmother and later from me.