The first postcard was from the Grand Canyon, posted marked the week before. The message read, ‘Dear Penelope, This is where I met your mother. Love, Dad.’ A cruel hoax, being played by I didn’t know who, since my father had been dead for years, so many years that I’d never known him. To me, he was a young guy in a 25-year-old photograph.
The second postcard was from Las Vegas, where my parents had married, the card told me, though I knew the story already. My mom was on her way to LA, had stopped to see the Grand Canyon. My father had spent the summer hiking the canyon. Love at first sight, my mother had told me hundreds of times. When she was drinking, the tale was bitter, accusatory.
I had no idea who’d been sending the cards, but I couldn’t show them to mom since she still blamed herself for his death. They had left Vegas, heading for LA. Mom was driving and there had been an accident. Mom survived, Dad went through the windshield. She didn’t even know she was pregnant.
The third postcard was from Mojave, California. It pictured the desert, but the hoaxer had now gone too far; the card read, ‘Dear Penelope, This is where I died. Love, Dad.’ If I was to figure this out, I’d have to show Mom, but wish I had not. When she recovered, her voice still shaking, she said, “It’s your father’s handwriting.”