Carrie Classon
Carrie Classon
Last Thursday was more than usually exciting. I officially sold my book and I got a surprise delivery. Of the two, what I got from UPS turned out to be the bigger deal.

A bit of backstory might be helpful. Two years ago, I lost my best girlfriend, Angel, to cancer. She put up a terrific fight but the breast cancer made it to her brain.

After she was blind, before she lost her voice, the first thing she asked every time I called was, “Any news on the book?” She was, it’s fair to say, my biggest fan.

But I had no news on the book before her death—which is one of my few regrets.

I had started writing the next book before she died. It was about her and she had given me her blessing. I didn’t have a title yet but I had this nagging feeling it had something to do with pirates. So I created a file called, “Pirates,” and everything I wrote about Angel went into that file.

Last Thursday, more than two years after Angel’s death, I finally received my contract but instead of the elation I was expecting, I was hit with a massive wave of misgivings. As I read the contract, I realized I was going to have to do a lot more work than I ever imagined. I wondered if it was worth it. Everything I’d done suddenly felt worthless. I sincerely doubted I would ever be successful.

I heard the UPS driver make a delivery. I didn’t even get up. We get a lot of deliveries. I was expecting some candles. I didn’t feel like reviewing my contract. I didn’t feel like doing anything, except maybe crying. Then I spilled a glass of water all over my desk.

“Great.”

I sopped the water up off my laptop and went downstairs to get more ice water. I remembered the candles, picked them up, and brought them into the kitchen.

They felt very light. This was supposed to be 72 votive candles; it should have been a heavy box. I cut the box open. Whatever was inside was covered with tissue paper but did not look like candles. Through the tissue paper, it looked like… well, it looked like a treasure chest.

I lifted the tissue paper. It was a Pirate’s treasure chest. I lifted the chest out of the box and started to laugh—because getting an unsolicited treasure chest is funny no matter how you look at it. Then I remembered something and it made me stop laughing. Pirates.

It was her birthday. Today was Angel’s birthday. My biggest booster—the person who wanted me to succeed more than any other, dead for two years now—was born today. I wrote to Amazon. They wrote back immediately: “Please keep the chest that you received as a free gift from us for the error. Thank you”

Of course, there are a million explanations why I should get a pirate’s treasure chest—on the day I got my signed contract—on the day of her birthday. There are a million explanations and I could choose any one of them.

So I will choose one.

I choose to believe I needed a not-so-subtle reminder. I don’t need to worry about being successful; I already have more treasure than I can hold.

“Oh Angel,” I said, when I could finally say something.

And since it is unreasonable to expect I will get gifts from the divine delivered by UPS on a regular basis,I have decided to pay attention.

Till next time,

Carrie