Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Leave A Note Of Hope.

I'd heard about the Little Red Mailbox.
For a few months.

Then the Little Red Mailbox called out to me and I went to find it.  For some reason, I thought it was in Kitty Hawk.  That first morning when I ventured out and went to a bad breakfast and then looked for it, I never found it.  That next morning, after I'd Googled it, I found the Little Red Mailbox.  It's in Kill Devil Hills.  At the Glenmere Beach Access.  And unless you're looking for it, you will miss it. Hell,  I've missed it every time I've been looking for it.  Had to turn around at the next driveway or access or whatever.  That freakin' Little Red Mailbox was calling me.

What is the Little Red Mailbox, you ask?

The Little Red Mailbox is a beacon of hope.
It sits at a beach access.
Glenmere.  Approximately milepost 8.  Back off the beach road.
There's a gazebo and benches.
But the Little Red Mailbox is outside.
In the elements.

The following picture is from Joe Lamb's website.

A woman named Sue Goodrich, whom I wish I knew, had an idea that a belief in hope and prayer is a good way to live one's life.  Her favorite beach access was the Glenmere Access, and Ms. Goodrich was responsible for putting up the Little Red Mailbox with a message on the outside, "Leave a Note of Hope," and a notebook and pens inside, for people to leave their messages of hope, joy, peace, love - the best of the human spirit.

I'll just copy and paste from

History of the Little Red Mailbox on the OBX

So how did the Little Red Mailbox come into existence? It was the idea of its creator, Sue Goodrich, as a way to help her deal with her mother's unexpected passing, while also helping others who may need a little help getting through the ebb and flow of life and its many seasons.
"Dear Hope,” Sue writes on the first page, "The angels listen softly to your heart and carry your hope on their wings.” It’s her call to anyone who passes by to share their stories and messages of hope.
According to Sue, the reason for the mailbox’s popularity is simple:
"I really think that just like me, everyone needs a little help, no matter what phase of our lives we are in. So many people told me that if I put the mailbox up, to watch out for what people might do to it,” she said. "But that hasn’t happened. Everyone treats it with respect.”
The spot on the beach where the LRMB is located has always been a place for Sue to reconnect with herself, her thoughts and the beauty of the sea. The beach has a way of calming the mind, soothing the soul and providing peace, doesn't it? So it seemed natural to put the Little Red Mailbox there.

Because of the positive response, the town has designated a physical address for the mailbox so that no matter where people were, they could always send a note of hope 365 days a year. The message Sue hopes to send with the new address is this:

"Even if you are not near, the Angels (the little red mailbox) do hear.”
Sue’s husband Eddie donated the gazebo and other improvements at the access in 2004. More improvements have been made at the site, including the installation of a benchmaking it the perfect place on the Outer Banks for reflecting on life, watching the sunrise or just closing your eyes, breathing in the sea-salt air, and listening to the symphonic sounds of the OBX beach that surround you.

Messages of Hope from the LRMB

Sue shared that she has a long list of entries that she holds close to her heart, and speaks affectionately of one man who visited the mailbox so regularly during a difficult period in his life that a special journal was made for him. The dialogue between him and strangers in the journal for several months helped pull him out of despair, she said.
"I love that Sue was inspired to start the Little Red Mailbox and that she chose her favorite beach access for it,” said Kill Devil Hills Mayor Sheila Davies. "I believe the Little Red Mailbox and the hope and inspiration it protrudes is a testament to the special people who are part of the fabric of our wonderful town.”
When we recently talked to Sue in preparation for this blog post, she shared the story about a teacher from Virginia who saw the Little Red Mailbox on social media. Eighth-grade English teacher Stacie Holzberger from Rockingham County public school in Harrisonburg, VA, and her fellow teaching colleagues thought it would be a wonderful writing project to have their students write a note of hope to the LRMB. Stacie will have those notes with her on her own journey to the Little Red Mailbox and plans to deliver them when she is in the Outer Banks this month. The timing couldn't be more perfect, since the date of the her arrival coincides with Sue's beloved mom's birthday.

"The signs from my Mom in heaven... I can't wait to meet her [Stacie] and read the children's notes of hope."

So, what drew me to that Little Red Mailbox that morning?
I don't know exactly.
But forces were certainly at work.
How does one explain that?
There's no reason involved.
Only ...  only an emptiness.
An emptiness that needed to be filled.
By something.

There's hope in that mailbox.
But it also holds the exhaustion of hope.

It was a beautiful gray morning.
The funny thing is, I never go to the beach.
And I went to the beach.
To the Little Red Mailbox.
Two days in a row.
Somehow, that Little Red Mailbox was screamin' my name.

The ocean was as surly as I was.

So I opened up the Little Red Mailbox and pulled out a journal and read the last entry.
Apparently, someone had written it just for me.

I didn't heed it.
Damn it.  I was still a screw-up.
Sometimes, you need to be kicked by a mule.
And I have been kicked in the head by a horse and I don't think there's much difference between being kicked by a mule or a horse, but that's another story.

I went back the next morning.
Looking for the Access and saw it and drove right past it.

Then I found it.
It's still there.

And so was the message I read the day before.
I had to go back and read it again.

It was twice I didn't listen.

Maybe the third time will be the charm.

I'd like to thank whomever wrote that note.
You made a difference in my life.

 Thank you, God, for this day, that I may rejoice and be glad in it.

Why can't I listen?

 We all need angels.

Thank you, Ms. Goodrich.

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