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May Post Office Project

The art of writing a real, personal letter. It’s an art we can all take a little more time to appreciate, and a wealth of time to explore. The Post Office Project is designed to bring back this lost art, and supply happiness and encouragement for those willing to send and receive letters.  For the month of May and part of April, I ask that you take time to write a letter to Rachel, who could really use your words right now.

Rachel is currently in the process of recovering from 
anorexia, depression, and self-harm, in addition to coping with her father’s passing, who left life this past March 26th due to colon cancer, only fourteen days after finding out. 

I asked her to share some of her story, which I hope will offer insight to what she’s been through:

“When my parents divorced 7 years ago I blamed my dad so I refused to talk to him for a few years, when I was hospitalized for my eating disorder he came and visited as much as possible and since I was under 18 i couldn’t really refuse his visits very well. When i got out of the hospital my dad and i tried to forge some kind of father-daughter relationship but it was rocky until about a year and a half ago. He’d moved to england with his new wife to work which meant I got free plane tickets once a year to visit him (i was born in england so it’s an important place for me).

I visited him last summer and we didn’t fight at all and because I was 18 he became a lot more lenient than when I was younger. Since he moved to england january of 2011 I emailed my father and video chatted with him more and more often. In march he thought he had the flu and lost a lot of weight… when his wife noticed that his stomach was bulging even though he wasn’t able to eat much they went to the emergency room, on march 13th the tests came back that he had stage four colon cancer (which by British standard of medical stuff is incurable). They said he had less than five years.

He and his wife were able to come back to the United States to get medical attention here since there are different “cures” available here. They got back on the 22nd of march and went directly to the hospital. I saw him for a few hours on Friday and he was doing alright, he was awake and coherent. On saturday he’d been put on pain relief drugs so he was very sleepy and would come in and out of consciousness (he even fell asleep mid-sentence talking to me).

On sunday my family told me he had had some tests done so he was very tired, I sat and held his hand for a while but didn’t stay long enough to talk to him when he woke up later in the evening (I regret not staying as long as i possibly could). On monday morning at about 3am my mom rushed into my room telling me to wake up and get dressed, that we were going to the hospital because my dad had crashed overnight and the doctors didn’t know how much longer they could sustain him. We got to the hospital about 3:45 and were in and out of his room all morning. He was taken to the ICU at 6am and only two family members could be with him at a time so we had to take turns. He was on medications that were the only things keeping him alive, meds to raise his blood pressure and meds to lower it in order to stabilize it…. He had a respirator and a breathing tube down his throat.

After a while they started to raise the morphine levels to keep him comfortable and he woke up a bit. He kept trying to pull the tube out of his throat so he could talk to me and my brother and step mother, it was really scary and we had to keep telling him that he couldn’t do that, that we would do the talking. The doctors said he’d had brain damage and probably wasn’t coherent and didn’t know what was going on at all.

At the end of it all, for the last hour or so- the whole family was allowed into his room, we all talked to him and told him how much we loved him, and I swear he could hear us and understand what we were saying, whoever talked he would look in their direction like he recognized them. Eventually the doctors took out the breathing tube and raised the morphine and lowered the other meds that were keeping him alive. I stayed in there as long as I could but had to go out to the waiting room because I was so scared watching my father die.

My grandma came out with me and after a while we thought that it would be right for us to go back to him even if it hurt really bad to see him like that. Right as we opened the door to his room we were informed that he had literally JUST died. I think God was calling my grandma and I back there so that we could be there with the rest of his family and pray. 10:43 am on march 26th my father passed away. He died staring into his wife’s eyes, holding her hand. 

One of the only things keeping me from acting on my eating disorder and self-harming is knowing that my father would be so sad to see me do that. I know that he wanted the best for me (he actually posted on my facebook wall a day or two after he found out he had cancer and basically told me he loved me and was so proud of me for working so hard to recover, I’ve saved it as my computer background). he also told me in the two weeks before he died that he was at peace and was ready to go whenever God wanted him to go.” 


Rachel is hoping to receive letters of support, stories, and strange facts

If you’re willing to write to Rachel, please submit your letter by mailing it to

Dear Meat
12394 Charles St.
La Plata, MD 20646

and write “Rachel” on the back of the envelope submitted.  For those who wish to place a return address, please write it within the letter itself or inside the envelope, as opposed to its front.  

Letter submissions will be accepted until June 6th, 2012.  On this date, the letters will be sealed together within a package and mailed to Rachel.  Letters received after June 6th will be posted to the Dear Meat website.  

Thank you for reading, and please encourage, friends, family, acquaintances, and whoever else you believe could help to write in—a single letter can make a tremendous difference.

Happy writing,

Matt 

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