I got a package in the mail today. I've mentioned my friend Danny before. He died of a drug overdose in 2004, and though we have never met, I still keep in touch with his mom. Twice a year -on his birthday and his going away day- I send her a card and a letter, and she always writes me back. I hear about his life outside of my (former) little group of friends, and she hears about his life outside of his family. It's bittersweet, but memories are all we have. I just like her to know that we're always thinking of Danny and we'll never forget him.
In the package I received was a Christmas card, a letter and two little boxes; one for me and one for my sister. Inside was a Serenity Prayer pocket token:
I don't believe in god, but I'm familiar with the serenity prayer. Dan's mom says that everyone in the family has one of these tokens and use them as keychains. I'm wearing mine as a necklace.
In her letter, she talked about Christmas and how, no matter what age they were, everyone got a present. About how Dan had this friend (I knew him, too) whose father was awful to him, so Dan would bring him home a lot and they all made him feel like part of the family. About how Dan used to take friends to his grandma's house for cookies. I love finding out these new things about him; it's like he's not really gone. And it validates my feeling that Dan wasn't a junkie -- he was a kind, loving man with an addiction.
In her letter, she wrote:
"After losing Danny, I think of things differently. So many things are not important to worry about. You actually feel good about picking what's important enough to take your time - the most important thing we have. That's where the serenity prayer comes in."
She ended the letter with:
"Thanks again for the cards you send. It's like getting a hug in the mail on a day you think no one remembers."
It made me happy to read that. Danny wasn't perfect (who is?), but he was ours. And he always will be.