We've been exchanging Christmas greetings for 30 years and we've never met. Or maybe we did once and I don't remember. It was a long time ago.
He is a friend of my parents and was invited to my 1984 wedding. Whether he was there or not, I couldn't tell you. It's as much of a blur now as it was then.
My first Christmas as a married woman, I sent cards to everyone who had been invited to the wedding regardless of their attendance. Charlie sent one back. He thanked me for my greeting and politely inquired who the hell I was. I had signed my married name. I quickly wrote back to trace the connection.
Every year since then I could count on a Christmas card from Charlie in my mailbox. He always sent his before I got around to sending mine. Even after I gave up sending Christmas cards as a general rule, I always sent one to him. He eventually learned how to use a computer and gave up sending cards as well. Still, I would get his Christmas email.
We moved recently and I didn't send out cards notifying people of my new address because who sends personal correspondence anymore? So, it's possible he sent one. It's possible it's being rerouted and its delivery is overshadowed by the billions of other deliveries the USPS will make this year.
I sent my card. I've checked my mailbox. Still, no Charlie.
I'll check in by email. Make sure he's okay. Because Christmas just wouldn't be the same without Charlie.
(If you're reading this, Charlie, Merry Christmas!)