Intern-al Affairs: In the Cards

5 minutes
Intern-al Affairs is the weekly blog for Oklahoma Today summer intern Haley Humphrey. Check back each week as she explores Oklahoma's past, present, and future. Read her previous “Intern-al Affairs” entries here:
Sharing the Light

Is it safe to say that just about everyone on Earth is experiencing some kind of turmoil right now? Whether it’s months of isolation and stress related to COVID-19 or the death of George Floyd and the massive protests in major cities around the world, it’s easy to feel helpless.

What do we do when we feel like we cannot do anything? We write. Sometimes we write to make sense of what’s happening today. Some of us write to share these turbulent times with future generations. What is spoken may be forgotten, but the journals about the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests will live on for our children and grandchildren.

That’s what I do, at least. I write. And, while digging through the Oklahoma Today archives, I read. As I’ve been exploring the issues from 1997—my birth year—I chose to flip through the November/December issue and I landed on page 13.

The cover of our November/December 1997 issue

The cover of our November/December 1997 issue

That’s where I found cards made by Constance Williams. These were not your normal Hallmark cards, either. Williams designed her cards to be looked at and read, but also touched with the addition of tactile elements, like seashells.

Cards are not just for birthdays or national holidays; they are meant to show people you are thinking of them.

I truly believe in card-mailing. It is an art. Picking out a card for someone says a lot about how much you know them. You must think about the design outside of the card and each word that is printed on the inside. But even if the card doesn’t look exactly right or use the perfect words, the cliché is true—it is the thought that counts.

During research for an upcoming Oklahoma Today gift guide, I asked my followers and friends on Facebook and Twitter for local businesses throughout Oklahoma offering online shopping. I am extremely thankful for all the feedback I received. One response really made my day: Bill Wasinger messaged me about Plenty Mercantile, where he got puzzles via curbside pick-up.

Card by Emily McDowell

Card by Emily McDowell

When I visited the Plenty site I found an entire section of greeting cards. I scrolled through, reading each one, and was moved by this one by Emily McDowell.

What I want you to know when everything feels dark: I know you’ve been struggling lately. In these times, when it’s hard for you to see the best in yourself. I’m keeping a record of everything that makes you incredible. I know how strong and capable you are. How loving, how deserving. Your kindness, wit, and creativity are a permanent part of you. No storm can wash them away. I’m not afraid of the dark, and I’ll be here to light your way until your own flame burns bright again. Most of all, I want you to know you are loved. You are so loved.

The power of written words, whether in a journal, a news story, in this blog, or on the front of this card, matter. In a pandemic or in a protest, I hope you never forget this. I know I needed the reminder.

Written By
Haley Humphrey

Haley Humphrey
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