Send the Card; Buy the Treat

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Today would have been her birthday.

My friend Julie, a homeschooling mom of eight with a contagious smile and a faithful and huge heart, died the night before Christmas Eve in 2003.

I won’t get to send her a card this year.

A real card.

Not the cyber sort.

With a hand-written sentiment, crafted in my very best cursive that would have made Mrs. Love, my fourth grade, cursive-Nazi teacher, beam with pride.

I won’t be able to drive down the long dirt road to her little ranch-style home in the Michigan corn fields to drop off some lavender-scented lotion or an apple pie candle that I grabbed off the clearance rack at the store.

There will be no quick afternoon coffee when we take a break from being with our kids; no cup of steaming java over which I could tell her just how much she means to me and how watching her be a mom makes me a better one.

No today, on Julie’s birthday, instead I will spend time praying for her kids. And remembering her.

I love remembering my friends’ birthdays. The folks up to the Bath & Body works store know me well. I stock up on girly treats and stash them away in my “general store” (a large plastic tote) to be given to a friend on her special day.

It isn’t easy to remember all the birthdays of those I love.

But it is well-worth the extra effort to write them on the calendar each January. Or set a reminder on my phone.

My best friend from college, Kelly, has never once forgotten my birthday in 29 years!

It means so much to me. In an age of email and impersonal, an old-fashioned card or simple gesture stands out in love.

Don’t forget your girlfriends.

Some day, you might note be able to send that card or buy that treat.

I think it is time to pencil in our 2012 calendars, scribbling down the names of those we love and can’t imagine life without.

Will you join me?

photo credit


  1. I’m amazed because this is one of my new year resolutions, to remember birthdays and at the very least send a card to let him or her know I am thinking of them.

  2. What a great reminder to make those friends special and that we should celebrate birthdays and small accoplishments too. Thanks for the reminder that today is the day to “do it!”

  3. Sorry–hit “Post” before I proofread (what a bad thing for a writer to do, lol!) my grandmother died a few MONTHS later during heart surgery, not a few minutes later!

  4. In 2000 both sets of grandparents and both of my sisters and their families were going to be at mom and dad’s home for Thanksgiving. My family was not planning to go because we were having our annual cattle sale just a few days before. The Monday before Thanksgiving I knew we just HAD to go. My dear husband spent a ridiculous amount on plane tickets (thankfully the cattle sale went very well!) for our kids and I. We were in Wisconsin for less than 48 hours, but we made the most of them and had a wonderful time seeing all of the relatives.

    I’m so thankful we went because just a few minutes later my dear grandmother died during heart surgery. It was the one and only time we were all together on Thanksgiving. I know we well see her again in heaven, but the time spent with her and my other loved ones was well worth the money.

    So, yes, send the card, buy the treat, make the call…you won’t regret it!

    Thank you for the reminder!

  5. Cards…simple things that mean so much. I know I love getting birthday cards and got very few this past year. But my Godmother has never missed a year in 53! Means the world to me. And I love the reminder of the time we have is now. Don’t know what lies ahead. Beautiful reminder of blessing friends.

  6. I love this! I am a card sender and a gift giver. I wish my close friends were as good at it as I am….hehe. Actually I agree with everything you said. It blesses me more to send and give than to receive, although receiving is nice too.

  7. This really touched my heart. I don’t seem to have any good friends left. I either move or they do. I have kept up somewhat with a great friend I had before I moved 7 years ago. You would think that after 7 years I would have gotten some new friends. I do have family around and that helps, but my prayer and desire is to have a good and godly friend who would hold me accountable. I attend church, but just don’t seem to connect with anyone. I need to read the book you sent me on God, Grace $ Girlfriends. Maybe then I can learn how to make some godly girlfriends! I love your blogs!

  8. My friend has been battling brain cancer for 13 years. Her hubby is having a surprise 50th party for her next month and everything in my spirit said, “buy the plane ticket and go.” So I am, may not have another chance to celebrate many more birthdays with her and we haven’t seen each other in 8 years, since I moved. She always wanted to make it to 50 and have a “Staying Alive party!”

  9. Thank you for the great reminder Karen. This really touched my heart! I love doing Christmas cards and sent out around 170 hand written this year, but I’m not as good at remembering birthdays. I think I’m going to go through and write them on this years calendar so I don’t forget.

  10. Thanks for that Karen. It indeed is special to remember our special friends. My best friend died on Christmas Day in ’89 but for some reason I still put her birthday on my calendar. What a birthday she has each year in Heaven. Maybe it’s because I miss her so. Have a wonderful day and thanks for all you encourage us to do. Jean

  11. This post really touched me as my Daddy died six days after his birthday back in 2008. He wasn’t talking to me at the time due to my conversion from Islam to Christianity but I did mail him a card. Sometimes I wish I had called so I could have heard his voice and wished him happy birthday one last time but since that isn’t something I can change, I ask the Lord for peace in knowing that he did at least read my card and He is faithful to do so. And I am more intentional about remembering and wishing people in my life a happy birthday/anniversary.

    Last year I made a photo calendar with individual photos on important dates (birthdays, wedding anniversaries, death anniversaries etc.) of loved ones. always has great deals with free shipping often. I didn’t do one for this year because we were (and continue to be) in transition with our newborn but it was worth it and definitely helped me stay on track with remembering.

    Love ya friend.

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