It started in February. I got a card in the mail. It was addressed to me in a very neat, feminine handwriting. It had no return address but the postmark was from New York City.
I didn’t think much about it, my mother had just died two weeks earlier and I had received many sweet cards. I only know a couple of people in New York; I just assumed the obvious.
When I opened it and read the front of the Valentine it said, “To my daughter.” I was a little bit puzzled. I knew my mother hadn’t sent the card. It wouldn’t have been from her, unless of course they have moved Heaven lately.
It did sound a little bit like her though. It was beautiful, but it had a hint of sarcasm; she was the “queen of a hint of sarcasm” in her younger days. She had learned to be the “queen of coming right out and saying whatever she thought” near the end.
It wasn’t signed at all. I looked at the envelope again. Who would have done this?
I shared the mysterious card with my family. They all had theories. My level-headed husband had the best one. Someone had sent out two cards on that day. One, a sympathy card for me, and the other, a Valentine’s card for their daughter. Somehow the cards got mixed up and I got the Valentine. I pictured in my mind the daughter receiving the beautiful, well-thought sympathy card. She would have recognized the handwriting on the envelope but would have most certainly been on the phone to her mother asking for an explanation. I figured I might get a phone call with an explanation too. But of course I did not.
So, my husband’s theory didn’t hold up. I chalked it up to a mistake on someone’s part. Maybe they simply had the wrong Angie Brown. It is a rather common name. But, minutes at the computer could have headed off their mistake.
I forgot about it.
Then last week I received another card in the mail. I didn’t think anything about it until I opened it and saw that it was another “to my daughter” card. This one was very sweet, calling me a blessing. It was postmarked Honolulu. At least if it was from my mother, this time the location was a little bit more heavenly. Again, there was no signature and no return address.
I shared a picture of the front of the card with my Facebook friends. I have received all sorts of theories. Most of my friends are more upset than I am. They think, however well intentioned, it’s just morbid. I don’t really see it that way. I am convinced that I don’t have a real mystery parent out there. I looked too much like my father and I have a cousin who sat in the waiting area when my mother was in labor with me, so I know I came from her. It’s just a mystery.
It is just a little bit creepy though. So if any of my dear readers know who my secret parent is, please come forward. I’d really like to visit New York or Hawaii.
Angie Brown is a humorist who loves being a wife, mother and grandmother. She lives in Opelika with her husband of 31 years and four of their seven children.