I don’t check my mail every day. I’m generally walking into my condo building with my hands full, and the thought of walking down the hallway to the mailroom and trying to balance everything while opening my mailbox, only to be rewarded with surveys from the Republican National Committee, is enough to make me head straight for the elevator.
Today I ran downstairs to meet my friend Liza, who was dropping sugar off for me (because she’s awesome like that), and I swung by the mailroom on my way back upstairs. I wasn’t too surprised to see it full, since I had been out of town and hadn’t checked it in five or six days. I sorted through the catalogs, the surveys from the Republican National Committee, charities asking for money, and then … I saw it. Lying innocently at the bottom of the mailbox. An envelope with the return address Jenny Uebbing.
Yes, that Jenny Uebbing. You may know her from this magical moment a year ago, or from her awesome work with Heroic News, or perhaps from her writing found in various places like Catholic Exchange, 0r from her upcoming appearance at the Edel Gathering, or maybe even from her husband.
But I can say I knew her when – before Edel, before Catholic Exchange, before Rome, before she was even Uebbing. (In fact, when I first typed this, I typed her maiden name, and it stayed like that for awhile before I realized what I had done.) I knew her back in the day, when I was a bookkeeper and she was an office assistant at this little place called the St. Paul Center for this guy named Scott Hahn. (Jenny, I promise that link is as far as I’ll go. Although I have some pretty sweet pictures from Halloween circa 2007.)
I digress. I saw the envelope in my mailbox, and I knew exactly what it was. It took all my willpower not rip it open right then. Why had I not checked my mail earlier? This was waiting for me – for how long?
But I had waited over a year, and I could wait a few more minutes. In my apartment, I threw my mail on my kitchen table and ripped open the envelope. And there he was.
I had almost completely forgotten about him. Jenny certainly had plenty of other things to worry about — a pregnancy, two little boys, a transatlantic move, childbirth, a newborn… I’m not sure this would have ever gotten to the top of my to-do list. If it would have survived the move.
But that’s the kind of friend Jenny is… she comes through for a friend when it counts.
Hello, Padre Georg!