I have the best friends in the world. I've been getting the sweetest cards that invariably make me cry but also make me feel like eventually, one day, maybe even one day soon, I'll be less of a hermit and it won't hurt too much. I still hesitate when I get an envelope with handwriting on it, I kind of put off reading it until I'm okay with the idea that I'll want to cry and it'll take me back to that place but I eventually do read it because I'm so incredibly, deeply touched.
Plus, cards are way way better than phone calls. Such as my 90-some-odd year old grandparents, my oh-so-Minnesota-Scandinavian-Uff-da grandparents. The phone conversation went like this (note: you'll have to insert the northern-Minnesota accent yourself):
Me: "Hi Grampa!"
Grampa: "Oohhhh, Hi Kari, it's your Grampa here... your grandmother is getting on the other line... so..."
Me: "... well, hi Grampa... um... how're you?"
Grampa: "I'm fiiiine... you know... your grandmother is getting on the other line..."
Grandma: "Hiiiii, Kari!"
Me (loudly):"Hi, Grandma, how're you?"
Grandma: "Ooooh, you know... truckin' along... "
Grampa: "We're.... we're calling because.... your mother told us that you... that you... that some rough things happened and... we've sure been thinking about you, you know, a lot...."
Me (thinking, shoot me now, can this get more awkward? and that I suck and will burn in hell for thinking such terrible things about my grandparents being super sweet? and yet, the awkward? is awkward and awful?) "Yeah, it's been rough...."
Grampa: "...and we're sure sorry and sad."
Me: "That's very kind, thanks. I... yeah, it's been a rough week, but thanks."
Grampa: "So, how's the weather down there?"
Me: "Fine, it's 60 and sunny today. How about you?"
Grampa: "Oh, it's been terrible, the worst storm I can remember! We've been snowed in for days now."
Grandma: "We're surviving off the food we have in the house!"
Me: "That sounds awful!"
Grampa: "Oh, you know. Are you planning a trip up to visit us?"
Me: "Um. Well, our plans for the year have been somewhat abruptly changed, so we'll try to figure something out..."
Grampa: "That'd be great, we'd sure look forward to it. We're thinking of you."
Grandma: "Be a good girl, now!"
Me: "Okay, um, bye?"
I don't think they make a card for that conversation.