Gros calins et plein de bisous (big hugs and lots of kisses) was the saying on the card, along with written hopes that I was surviving my Covid-19 confinement. On the front of the card was a fuzzy white teddy bear—very cute. My friend Beatrice had sent it from France, and it cheered me up to get it.
Shortly thereafter, my thirteen-year-old granddaughter came downstairs to my apartment in tears. Ella is a big girl, a good head taller than her ever-shrinking grandmother. Needless to say, it is awkward to try to hug her, but she hung on to me for at least ten minutes. Ten minutes is a long time for a teenager to hug anyone. She was having a panic attack. No wonder, given the state of affairs in the country, our imminent move out of state, her bat mitzvah just two weeks away, and her best friend’s upcoming surgery. Ella was a mess.
I suggested that it would make her feel better, and be a nice thing to do for Ava, if she made her friend a speedy recovery card before the mailman made his daily delivery.
“I don’t have a card,” she sniffed. “I think I have a solution for that,” I said, as I tried to extricate myself from her grip. “How about this?” I asked, holding up my adorable fuzzy bear card. Ella knitted her eyebrows together, not quite sure what to do with it, given Beatrice’s French message inside. “Easy peasy,” I said, tearing the card into two parts and handing her the fuzzy bear section, which was blank on the other side. I also gave her a stamped blank envelope and asked if she had colored pencils for writing her message. In the blink of an eye, she was gone—gone and smiling.
I emailed Beatrice to confess that I had recycled her card. Her reply came quickly. “Excellent! Will send you another one; the confinement is not over!”