Today I received a card from my mum

Article by: Kelly Sargent

Today I received a card from my mum who passed away a year and a half ago, at 58 years young. The confusion and mixed emotions of this surprise arrival sparked many emotional questions.

The front of the card says, “A bountiful life begins with a thankful heart.” Which is quite fitting considering I’ve been feeling incredibly lucky and thankful lately for the many opportunities that have come my way. Inside the card there is a simple note that I’ve never laid eyes on before; in my mum’s handwriting were the words,

To Dear Kelly,

At last, this is done, better late than never!

Love you always, Mum xxxxxx”.

Seeing her familiar cursive brought pangs to my heart, I felt joy and pain simultaneously; I was instantly flooded with memories of her notes, mostly letters to teachers about school excursions and late excuses. I know her signature well – not so much ‘Mum’ but ‘Jennifer Sargent’ as I copied her cursive perfectly to fill out on my detention forms so I could pay my dues without her knowing, or write myself ‘late notes’ to turn up to school at a time I saw fit.  I was reminded of a different time, a different life when seeing her writing was not so unusual or confronting.

While it was so much better to see ‘Mum’ over ‘Jennifer’, at first sight the message with its strange familiarity just seemed so unbelievable. I promptly rummaged around to find other notes of hers to compare. I found my 26-year-old birthday card (written a year and two days before she passed away), and there it was; the same ‘m’s and the same ‘k’s, the same ‘love’ and ‘Mum’.

I was elated to have this card sent to me, yet it provoked more questions than answers because:

  1. I have never seen the card before.
  2. How did it get to me over a year and a half past her death?
  3. What is done, Mum? What was better late than never?

The first question is not entirely true as I had seen the card before, as a blank card in the ‘card-drawer’ in the family home where we used to live, when Mum was on this earth and I was an awkward teenager. It was a different life then, one where we had parties, birthdays, shared meals and struggles and finally, where she took her last breath after a long, arduous, awful illness in October 2014. I had seen the card. I thought I’d use it for a dear friend. Around five years later it’s come back to me with a note of love from my deceased mum, a welcome interruption to my day and it’s a reminder of what was and what’s no longer. It is bitter sweet and I’d like more.

The second question is not as exciting as I am making it out to be; I know where it came from, I just don’t know how it got there to begin with. The letter came from the bottom of a box that’s travelled through three states of Australia these past five or so years, moving with my ex-boyfriend as his life took him beyond our time together. I’m very grateful he cared enough to send it, especially given our breakup wasn’t totally civil, it was hurtful and hard, yet being a decent guy he did send it (possibly because he knows too well the value of a lost loved one, that pen on cardboard, those words ‘love’ and ‘Mum’). Regardless of this, how he got it seems obvious as there’s a million scenarios, the most obvious being I left it at his house sometime; but it bothers me because I’ve never seen this card before.  Seems I must’ve taken it to his house four or so years earlier when we were together; but taken it and not read it?

More complexing is my ex has moved interstate multiple times so this irreplaceable card of gratitude and love is now safely on my desk after its trip in the bottom of a box around Australia – it’s clear how I received it today, but why now after so many years?

Mum, if you’re sending a message from Heaven, kudos on not being cryptic with the delivery as a written card is a sure way to go – but I don’t know about the message, what is done?

This really bothers me; I have a card from my deceased mother that I haven’t seen before and I don’t know what it’s referring to.

I am unaware of what may have taken me awhile to do that she thought important enough to give a card about it. We weren’t particularly the card-giving family, at birthdays sure; but also it wasn’t totally unusual to receive a present without a card, and the same goes for Christmas. I didn’t draw out University, or school, nothing noteworthy comes to mind; what did I seemingly complete that made her feel moved enough to write a card, of somewhat congratulations, that I don’t understand, or worse, remember?

It’s probably a waste of time trying to figure this out and I should probably take the love unquestioningly and bathe in its warmth and cry in its grief; yet it bothers me I don’t know what she’s referring to and moreover, had she been waiting for me to complete something to give the card?

Today I received a card from my deceased mother; today I had a mix of feelings from the cutting reminder of the loss, to her love that transcends time and touches me this sunny afternoon. The card’s a thoughtful and loving gesture, her thoughts are gone yet I’m still here. I am still here. That part of life is gone, yet the memories live on, not always, yet today they do, today I remember, rejoice and cry.

I’m ultimately grateful for the interruption and reminder of her love that’s able to touch me today.

I’d like to forward the gesture to those still reading, giving a part of your day to read and care about this – so I have a card for you:


Dear wonderful human reading this,

At last, things can be done – it’s better late than never! Always! Live now, live with purpose and love generously – it all goes too fast.

With love, Kelly and Jennifer Sargent

Sender: Heartfelt truths, from Heaven.

Image attribution: Kelly Sargent