Heaven-Sent, Direct To My Mailbox

Those of you who are lapsed or non-Catholics might not know that this is the time in the liturgical year when the readings at church focus on the Second Coming. I figure that’s what’s prompted the mail I’ve just received from my Crazy Aunt.

Actual mail. She’s that nuts.

For five and a half handwritten, photocopied pages addressed to me by name in fresh ink at the top, she detailed what we should do now that we’re in the End Times. Apparently we should stock up on non-perishables because when Satan comes to try to reclaim the souls of the recently converted, all literal hell will in actual fact break loose. Also we need to find some blessed salt so we can spread it across the thresholds of our doors (don’t open them during the unrest, though) to keep Satan at bay.

If I had known that all it took was some blessed salt, I wouldn’t need to go to confession right now as she urges.

Does it have to be kosher salt?

My aunt, you may recall, sent out checks for a thousand dollars to each of her nieces and nephews last Christmas because it was the money my grandfather had left her and she thought he would have wanted her to do it. I think my mother did get her to understand that, if he had wanted that, he would have left it to his grandchildren instead of her.  Her response was that she was just trying to do the right thing.

Which is true, really. My aunt is an untreated mentally ill person who my social worker sister says would probably be classified as a paranoid schizophrenic with religious preoccupation if she would ever be willing to be diagnosed as anything. But she has a heart full of goodness and love and she just wants everyone to be saved. I don’t begrudge her that. I don’t begrudge anyone that, when it comes from a place of love. And she’s not dangerous; most mentally ill people aren’t. It’s far more likely that she’ll be the person who gets hurt – though she’s pretty paranoid and afraid of a lot of things, so she might never be in a dangerous situation.

One of the things she’s afraid of, apparently, is the Affordable Care Act. more colloquially known as Obamacare.

After the five and a half pages of her letter, she tossed off another paragraph on different paper (no lines) about how the law is against Christianity because it “pushes abortion funding and the implantation of the chip under the skin, which is forbidden in the Bible.”

Where to begin, eh?

Aside from the fact that a lot of things are forbidden in the Bible, like footballs and cheeseburgers, the ACA does not push funding for abortion. It provides members of Congress and their staffers the option, if they choose to be part of the health care exchange rather than private insurance, to pay a premium for insurance in case of abortion. They don’t have to pay into the exchange at all if they don’t buy that particular feature of protection. It’s like a la carte.

It also says nothing about chips.

What we have here, I think, is a bit of confusion on my aunt’s part, because the only CHIP to which the ACA refers is the Children’s Health Insurance Program. And it is not implanted, it is implemented.


See, now I definitely don’t believe the thing about the salt on the threshold.

There is one thing, though, that I find to favor my aunt’s way of looking at the world: the 4×6 envelope in which the letter arrived bore no sign of the postal service. The stamps were not cancelled and no meter mark was affixed. There’s no date of mailing. It appears never to have been touched. I’m sure this is a miracle of postal delivery. Deliverance. One of those.




6 thoughts on “Heaven-Sent, Direct To My Mailbox

  1. Hand delivered?

    I like the salt idea. Can you take the salt with you and pour it on other thresholds if you need some added protection? Satan can show up anywhere, can he not? I’m Jewish so I’m a novice at this.

  2. I had that happen before with the no cancelling of the stamps. It perplexed me. I thought every piece of mail goes through a machine that automatically marks it in some way. Then again, I didn’t dwell on it too much. I just peeled that stamp off and used it for something else. It’s what God would have wanted, apparently. 😉

  3. Special hand delivery! Does she drive? And if so, should she? Your aunt anecdote has given me greater insight into the intransigent opponents of Obama and the ACA. Could it be that somewhere above a third of our country’s population consists of “untreated mentally ill person(s)”? Your comment that the mentally ill mostly aren’t dangerous is somewhat reassuring, yet it raises my anxiety about the decision-making skill of a great many of my fellow Americans.
    I guess it’s one thing when everyone in a culture buys into the same delusion (like maybe tribal American Indians before the advent of Europeans), but our culture now have so many different reigning delusions that a person just doesn’t know where to put her salt.

    • Oh, my aunt knows exactly where to put the salt. Haha. If she didn’t live two hours away, I would definitely think it had been hand-delivered. She does drive, but she doesn’t like highway driving. To your point about the mentally ill and voting… technically, I have a mental illness (anxiety), so where do you draw the line? I’ve been Dx’d. She hasn’t. So how do you verify? I guess, though I’ve thought of it before, I hadn’t quite thought of it the way you present. If nothing else, it’s an argument to get more less-crazy people out to the polls, eh? My aunt, though, would vote the same way whether she was this off her head or not. She’s always been off, but when she was less crazy, 20 years ago, she had the same general political and moral views. They’re just exacerbated by her illness.

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