All of the homes on Stockbridge Road had mailboxes at the end of the driveway. Mr Beard and I would chat as we walked along. As we neared the turn onto Vinal Avenue, where Nana lived, Mr Beard would hand to me Nana's mail, for me to take in to her.
Nana kept her mailbox by her kitchen door.
It was a wall mount mailbox, at a height she couldreach from her wheelchair. On the days that Mr Beard and I didn't meet, he would go to the kitchen door. If the door was open, he would call, "Special delivery for Mrs Fife!", and bring the mail to her in the living room. Nana always offered Mr Beard a drink or a snack. Mr Beard would say " Thanks so much, Mrs Fife, but I have to be getting on." Going out, he would close the kitchen door and then wave as he went by the front windows.
Every now and then, Nana would leave a lemon square wrapped in wax paper, on the table in the breezeway. She would write a little note to Mr Beard thanking him for his kindness and put it with the treat.
When Nana passed away, I saw Mr Beard at her funeral. He had tears in his eyes as he came to my sister and me. He told us how much he loved Nana, and would miss his short visits with her. As he turned to leave, I told Mr Beard that shortly before Nana died, she'd asked me to give him something. I handed him the package. As he dried his eyes, he opened it.
Inside the package was Nana's mailbox. Inside the mailbox was an ancient, handwritten recipe for lemon squares.