Woman Receives Birthday Card From Mother, 5 Years After Her Death

A woman received the shock of her life when she opened a birthday card, only to realize it had been written five years ago by her mother—who has since passed away.

Katrina Jones, from Youngstown, Ohio, checked the mail on her lunch break and discovered the card.

"The date stamp on the envelope, it says June 20, 2015," Jones told WKBN. Surprised by the five-year delay, she asked: "To what do I owe this honor?"

"The return address is from my mother. Then I looked at the handwriting and I said that's my mother's handwriting."

Jones, who said her mother passed away in 2018, opened the purple envelope decorated with flowers and butterflies to find a birthday card and a note with a Bible verse.

"I know the thoughts I have towards you sayeth the Lord. Thoughts of peace and not of evil," she read.

Ohio woman receives birthday card from late mother 5 years later https://t.co/ZPr2utBoOF pic.twitter.com/A1v6diFcB6

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The Bible verse is from Jeremiah 29:11 and reads: "For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe!"

"I do remember many years ago and I think I'm safe to say it must have been 2015 and I remember her asking, 'Hey, did you get a card from me?'" Jones said.

Jones said the pair eventually forgot about the card—until it was finally delivered, five years later.

"Someone told me at work it wasn't meant for you to receive it back then, it was meant for me to receive now," Jones said.

A similarly heartwarming letter was finally delivered to its intended recipient, an entire 75 years after it was written.

The letter, dated May 7 of 1945, was written by Holocaust survivor Jules Schelvis to his cousin Karel Stroz and details life in a Nazi extermination camp.

It is the earliest evidence from a Dutch survivor of the existence of Sobibor, a camp near Lublin in Poland.

"Gretha, David, Hella, Chel and Herman were, I am 99 percent sure, gassed immediately upon arrival at the SS Sonderlager Sobibor, near Lublin. It will be painful for you to read all of this, but I have to tell you nonetheless," the letter read.

"I write all this so coldly because the many things I have seen and experienced myself made me hard."

Schelvis, who died in 2016 at the age of 95, was one of 18 Dutch detainees to live through the camp after it was destroyed by the Nazis in 1943 following a prisoners' uprising.

He wrote the letter to his family while in Vaihingen hospital, near Stuttgart, in the final days of the war, and gave it to another Dutch camp survivor who was on his way back to the Netherlands.

The letter, still sealed and undelivered, was bequeathed to Amsterdam's Verzetsmuseum [Resistance Museum] and discovered by researcher Jos Sinnema.

"I fell off my chair," Sinnema told the Nederlandse Omroep Stichting upon opening the letter. "It felt like a time capsule, something you open after it's been closed for a very long time. This is something the family were supposed to receive. It feels very special, but at the same time onerous, because you're the first person to read something that wasn't meant for you."

Sinnema was finally able to deliver the letter to Stroz, who still lives in Amsterdam at the age of 90, on December 13.

Letters
File photo: Envelopes are seen opened as an Ohio woman told how she opened a birthday card, only to realize it had been written five years ago by her mother who has since passed away. Julie Thurston/Getty