The Right Card

For the sake of the patient’s spirit, we need to at least try to maintain a bright outlook, especially on her birthday. She’s rallied before; surely she’ll do it again. It’s a sad fact that plenty of so-called professionals have pronounced her condition congenital and terminal, but miracles happen all the time. No sense in grieving until the sexton starts shoveling. So let’s think here.

Most of these cards do seem a little unrealistically cheery, with their balloons and their fireworks and their fancy layer cakes. We’re hopeful, yes, but festive? Not this year. And I think we can agree that anything with a clown on the front is an automatic no, right? She’s suffered enough from clownishness, I think.

Ditto on the racy stuff. I mean, let’s at least allow her some dignity in her infirmity.

What about one of these soft-focus scenes with the wildflowers and the purple mountain majesties and the puffy clouds? Wouldn’t that be soothing? This has been an exhausting struggle for her, and I bet she’d love to go to her happy place, unplug, and just forget about it all for a while. No, I guess you’re right. It looks a little too much like a sympathy card. We want her to recover, not peacefully relent.

Oh, hey! Who doesn’t like a good pop-up? A nice little surprise inside, all skillfully cut and folded to jump out at you when you open it? Of course, some of the surprises she’s gotten recently have been a little like those cartoon jack-in-the-boxes that pop out armed with a big mallet for cracking your skull. More mean clowns. Let’s not go there. She can’t handle any more nasty surprises. She just wants things to work the way they’re supposed to work.

We’re overthinking this, really. I know it seems hokey, and not terribly clever, but is there anything wrong with some ordinary, heartfelt sentiment? It doesn’t need to be silly or grand or surprising or even soothing. Simple is fine.

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