The postal notice said it was the third attempt. I didn’t remember any previous, so I trotted down to the post office before it closed to retrieve the unknown package. It was soft, Taped over thoroughly, and wrapped with string. I neither recognized the shipper’s address nor the shipper’s name. I asked the postal clerk if she was sure it was for me. She indicated my name and my address – “sign here.” I signed.
Inside was my old backpack, my old fleece-lined denim jacket, and an odd assortment of small items I vaguely remembered owning. The last I member seeing this assortment of possessions had been in 1968, lost somewhere on one of my road trips to nowhere. A note, there must be a note? Here –
Dear Wes,
Nothing is ever truly lost. Between the stories, our mother told about you, and the two old letters from New York, we were able to locate your address on the internet. Mom would have loved to read the stories you’ve written. She would have wondered though why you never wrote about her. You really should, you know. Just before she passed, she asked that we locate you and return your pack and jacket. She was sorry afterward that she swiped them from you.

Betsy Hildegard

I pawed over the pack, the jacket, the assorted items, and the letter. I was grimly looking for the identity of the woman who had ordered this package sent to me. Nothing. Betsy Hildegard had been confident that I’d instantly recognize who her mom had been, and her great importance to me. No recall, no stories. Just unfair.

Then in one of the side pockets, I found a small note card envelope. Opening it here was the message: “Wes, Thanks for all the wonderful memories.”

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