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Thread: My mailman died and I'm very sad

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    My mailman died and I'm very sad

    Sounds like a weird thing to post about, but this event caught me off-guard, made me sad, and evoked for me the movie "It's A Wonderful Life"

    Having lived in the same neighborhood for 30+ years, we took some things for granted, like our mail carrier. Our mailman was Jimmy. He was almost toothless and he had an errant eye, but he'd always stop and chat with us.

    He knew more about us than anyone else. He was there when we signed for certified mail from the IRS, delivered college acceptance notices, liberal magazines, conservative magazines, doctor bills, solicitations from the Sierra Club, and saw our kids grow up--and eventually delivered postcards from them from various cities and countries.

    We get our mail in late afternoon, but when he saw a check from one of my clients, he'd make a special trip to our door so I could get the check deposited that day. I never asked him to--he just did it.

    And he always had a biscuit or two for our dog Nessie.

    We, as a culture, have lost so much in terms of a sense of community, but Jimmy's death to me is a tribute to that outmoded value. When he retired, we wished him well and gave him a small gift. He had taken two busses to our town and back to do his job every day, and we were glad he didn't have to do that any longer. But that was just a few months ago. He retired, and six months later, he died.


    I mourn his death today, not because he was particularly special, but because he was an extraordinarily nice man and a part of the fabric of our community.

    RIP Jimmy C.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I am sorry to hear that.

    Our beloved mailman for 28 years, Mr. White, retired 6 months ago. He was about my age. He was super skinny. i will bet he gains weight in his retirement without all of that exercise.

    Re community: I remember when I was a kid that my mom kept an "account" at the grocery store. It was not a free standing supermarket store because that did not exist in my small town. It was a store in an old Victorian building, with a wooden floor and high ceilings made of (probably) tin. When. i was a bit older she sent me to the store to get S wth ng and I would tell Mr. Cant Think of his Name to put it on our account.Im sure my brother has no me,ory of that because he is ten years younger, he knows only supermarkets.

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I am sorry to hear that.

    Our beloved mailman for 28 years, Mr. White, retired 6 months ago. He was about my age. He was super skinny. i will bet he gains weight in his retirement without all of that exercise.
    Thanks, IL. We have curbside mailboxes, and Jimmy drove in a mail truck, so he didn't get the benefit of walking. I wish your Mr. White a happy retirement!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post

    Re community: I remember when I was a kid that my mom kept an "account" at the grocery store. It was not a free standing supermarket store because that did not exist in my small town. It was a store in an old Victorian building, with a wooden floor and high ceilings made of (probably) tin. When. i was a bit older she sent me to the store to get S wth ng and I would tell Mr. Cant Think of his Name to put it on our account.Im sure my brother has no me,ory of that because he is ten years younger, he knows only supermarkets.
    Yeah, that was when you knew your neighbors. Our neighborhood has become majority South Asian, but when my kids were growing up there was one convenience store owned by an Indian man, Vijay. We called his store, not too politically-correctly, "the Indian joint." We were "in the crapper" most of the time back then, and from time to time my husband would get a pack of cigarettes and a loaf of bread and Vijay would float him the money until we could afford to pay.

    Unfortunately, a QuickCheck came into the area and put Vijay out of business. I kind of doubt that QuickCheck would have floated my husband bread and cigs.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  5. #5
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    Catherine, I am so sorry to hear about Jimmy. He sounds like a nice man.

    I remember my mother sending me to the corner grocery when I was younger than 6--I remember I could not read, just looked at the pictures of things, and she gave me exactly 22 cents for a loaf of white bread. I remember being so scared I would drop one of those pennies and I held on to them in my pocket the whole way.

    We also went to the doctor who had his office two door down in his house--his son and my brother were best friends.

  6. #6
    Senior Member awakenedsoul's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear about Jimmy, Catherine. He sounds like such a sweet and caring man. I love what you wrote. All of those little things that people do really matter. I'm sure you made a difference in his life, as well.

    Cute story, Tybee.

  7. #7
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    Very often, it is the "ordinary" among us who are most special in creating the web of our lives. Just tonight, I heard a song (Iris Dement, Our Town) that took me straight back to the neighborhood we left last fall and I shed more than a few tears knowing that it was no longer a part of our lives. Those mainstays like the guy who delivered our mail for years, who make a place "home"...are no more.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    Recently my husband reconnected with a HS friend who just retired from the post office. He writes incredible stories (posted on FB) about his experiences while delivering mail for the past 35 years. Some are funny and some are heartbreaking. Let me tell you, the postman gets just as attached to you. He has already published one book regarding the loss of his son and is now considering a book of postal delivery stories. I can't wait because he is a fabulous story teller and I have loved everything I have read so far.
    So sorry for the loss of Jimmy. Sounds like he was a kind hearted guy.

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