A few months ago, my almost-13-year-old grandson told me his great-grandmother (mother's mother's mother) had recently died. At least, that's what I thought he told me. I'm not on unfriendly terms with his mother (who is not my son's wife), but we don't chat regularly, either, so I hadn't heard this news.
I confirmed this info to be true with Marine Son, First Grandson's father.
I'd meant to send belated condolence letters/cards to FG's mother and her mother -- dead grandmother was a nice lady and I'd liked her -- but I hadn't got around to it.
Imagine, though, my surprise this week when I received a Christmas card from said dead grandmother.
The stick-on return address label showed just her husband's name, but I immediately recognized the handwriting that had penned my name and address as the same hand I'd been seeing for the 12 years the couple had been sending me cards. My initial reaction was that the great-grandfather had been writing out the Christmas cards all these years and I just hadn't known it until now.
Then I opened the card and found it signed Him and Her.
Signed Him, the widower. Signed Her, the deceased.
I decided that I must have not been paying close attention when First Grandson and Marine Son both told me about the death. I thought it must have been First Grandson's grandfather's mother.
I was, gotta say, freaked out, but also embarrassed that I'd made such a mistake. And I was oh so grateful that I hadn't sent the condolence cards.
However, tonight I decided to double-check. Marine Son is away from home doing training and I certainly wasn't going to call First Grandson or his mom. So I went to the net, plugged in the appropriate info, and...
discovered that the kind lady who sent me the Christmas card did indeed die in July.
Either it really is the husband who's been writing out the cards all these years and he simply can't let go of her, or she was one of those hyper-organized types who wrote them out well in advance and her husband decided to mail them anyway.
In any event, I feel deeply uncomfortable about this.
But I put the card out with the others anyway.
Merry Christmas, Him and Her.