The End of the Anonymous Care Package

Robin Botie's friend's daughter packs her stuff into a plastic shipping envelope in Ithaca, New York.We’re not at our sharpest in the throes of grief. Even 3 years into healing from the loss of my daughter, I have to be wary of my emotional responses to situations. Like recently when an anonymous package was mailed to me containing a 2-piece bathing suit, an expensive cellphone, 2 hundred-dollar bills, a postcard addressed “Lover” and assorted items related to staying healthy (see previous post). 2 days after I published the article about receiving this “care package,”

* after inspecting and inventorying the contents with the State Police
* after visits to Verizon to recycle or switch over to the new phone
* after spending $20 at the Computer Room to try to reset the phone
* after posting thank yous to my unknown benefactor on Facebook and Twitter
* after giving away half the money and using half the remainder to make a care package for a friend who just lost her husband
* after several sleepless nights wondering if some crazed guy from West Virginia who’d found my address was going to show up at my house
* and after 10 days on a wild ride trying to figure out who sent the package and why, and how I should be feeling about this gift –

I got an email from my friend’s daughter:

Robin, it’s my package!! It’s all my stuff!!!
I’m so sorry! It is extra things that I didn’t want to continue carrying and Mom suggested I mail it to you so we could pick it up … I thought she would have told you. I’m so sorry I didn’t include a letter – it was a last minute scramble to pack and get to the airport.
I feel so silly and sad. I hope this doesn’t disappoint you, but clarifies a huge mystery. I couldn’t believe as I read your blog post…. Wow.

Suddenly my emotions were exploding in every direction once more:

* This meant I did not get a Valentine’s Day care package after all.
* There was no more kind but kinky secret admirer.
* The prayer for happiness was not for me.
* Good thing I didn’t trade in the cellphone or throw out the sim card.
* I have to replace the money I spent.
* How will I tell my readers? It’s so embarrassing.
* Why the heck didn’t she put her name somewhere in the damn package so I could have been spared all this?

But mostly I’m laughing because this was something my own daughter would have done. And the whole thing was pretty silly.


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8 thoughts on “The End of the Anonymous Care Package

  1. Lucy Bergström

    Hey Robin, what a weird adventure! I think you can get a whole novel out of it, or at least a short story. Instead of the disappointing ending, where could it have lead you?
    Love, Lucy

    1. robinbot Post author

      I just went over the whole story again with Nicole, the Sender. It was great to laugh about. Now. I hope I never have to tell the State Trooper. I got to copy the Prayer for Happiness although it doesn’t mean as much to me as it did when I thought it was being sent to me. Oh well. It lead me to a good laugh. And that’s a lot these days. Cheers!

  2. Elaine Mansfield

    Ah, mystery solved. I was always emotional, but it can be over the top since Vic’s death. I had someone in work it out with, pop off, laugh, express a different perspective. So now I hear myself saying, Relax, E. Don’t get so excited about each little thing. And then I ignore my wise inner voice. A secret admirer would have been fun, but maybe better if an admirer is more straightforward with his intentions. What surprise will the mail bring next–or the next phone call?

    1. robinbot Post author

      I’m so glad you asked about the next surprise, Elaine. Very unexpected – my tenant came over to pay the rent and gave me a bracelet he beaded for me. Nothing like this has ever happened before. I’m always ready to receive complaints or “suggestions” from tenants. No new packages though. Guess I’ll have to do some mail orders. Hope you’re getting some good surprises these days.

  3. Lynne Taetzsch

    Robin, sorry you had to go through the trauma of this event, but thank you for sharing it with us. We are more vulnerable and sensitive when grieving. Reminds me of some of my own extreme reactions, plus all the “dumb things I do.” Glad you can laugh about it now. 😉


    1. robinbot Post author

      Yes, but it’s funny, Lynne. I was also grieving in a way.Suddenly I had no secret admirer and that really made me sad. Weird how things affect you.


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