As I prepare to pack away my life and move onto campus for a second try at an undergraduate career, I know that a service like Ship Smart will be what I use to pack away my things for the summer. I will stuff the boxes full with all of the items I know I am going to need for the semester; the essentials such as bedding, pillows, curtains, towels, school supplies, and toiletries, etc. Nevertheless, I will also pack the precious things that will make my dorm room feel comfortable, like a home that is solely mine with trinkets such as a diffuser I will painstakingly ship away at the end of the year because it is too precious to not carry into the next one. However, sadly, I know that when the time comes, there will be nothing from you.
We do not just ship bulk items and knickknacks for the sake of them. We don't ask the kind customer service associates to help stuff boxes with bubble wrap and tape up our packages for moves or to fulfill purchases alone. We use services like Ship Smart because we love someone – because what the box holds is the proof of our care and our affection. That was what you used to send. You did not do it often when I first went to school. Fixed incomes do not always allow such frivolous spending, but when you could – when you had scrounged up the change you thought I did not know should have been used for your own meals and needs, and practically guilted an aunt or an uncle to give you a little bit extra that month when they decided to be a good child to you – you would send off a little care package just for me. Moreover, it was care – all the sweetly chapped kisses you could not give face-to-face because you would not see me for six months. All the weathered hands were running through my hair and the humming while my head lay across your lap and the sound of your laughter over our favorite game shows – all the things I was missing out on, you sent in little packages – only when you could – so that I could hold them close and think of you.
There will be none from you this time around. There will be no tiny boxes stuffed with a collection of cards from the elderly women in your building who thought the world of me, no hidden dollar bills within the envelopes because you know that cash is short and young, dumb and broke is not just the title of a popular song. There will be no large packages complete with more packing peanuts than I will know what to do with, complete with more of your love-dipped packages of ramen noodles, single-serve Hawaiian punch packets to pour into my water, and candy. There will be me packing my care packages and wishing for one more from you.