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Phantom Birthday Card

Randall Latham, Oklahoma, USA
December 2000

Early in my third grade year, my great-grandmother, Jewel, died. This may come to no shock to some, but for me it did. I was very close to Grandma Jewel. I would always go over to her house and play Tic-Tac-Toe and other kinds of games with her. She was very old, and I always loved to hear her stories of her traveling in a covered wagon and such.

Weeks and months passed, and the sorrow that once welled inside me began to pass. That is until a month before my birthday. It was then that I realized that Grandma Jewel would not be there to help me celebrate it.

On an early Saturday morning, about a week before my birthday, my parents sent me to check to see if the mail had run. It had and I flipped through the mail expectantly searching for birthday cards filled with cash (as I'm sure many third graders do). I only found one envelope addressed to me, and it had no return address. I rushed to the house to see what was inside. After I had handed my parents their mail, I tore into the envelope. I read of the card, and I smiled at the sweet saying, and turned the card to the inside cover...and dropped it. I picked up the card and double checked the signature. There it was written in shaky hand writing: Love, Grandma Jewel. My mind began to race. How could she have sent me a card after she had been dead for nearly four months!?

I showed the card to my parents. They knew nothing of it. I asked my grandmother about the card. She knew nothing of it. I visited her neighbours, family, friends. Still no one knew anything of the birthday card. I didn't know what to think.

And to this day, I still don't know what to think...

Randall Latham, Oklahoma, USA
00:00 / 01:04
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