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Woman Gets Birthday Card in Mail, 45 Years Late

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Brooklyn woman got a surprise when she received a birthday card from her mother - postmarked 1969. Roseanne Colletti reports. (Published Monday, Apr 7, 2014)

    A birthday card that was intended to reach a young Brooklyn woman on her 19th birthday has finally reached its destination, 45 years after it was first mailed.  

    It's not the only piece of mail from 1969 that recently found its way to Susan Heifetz, now living in Floral Park. She says a man living in her childhood apartment building in Marine Park contacted her, saying he had mail addressed to her and postmarked 1969.

    Heifetz knew right away the first piece of mail was from her late mother when she saw the lipstick print on the envelope.

    "That was mother's thing, to put sealed with a kiss, and the tradition has continued," she said. 

    Inside was the birthday card that cost just 6 cents to mail at the time. 

    "I've been crying probably since Wednesday when I got this," she said. 

    Two days later, another letter with the same Brooklyn address turned up, also written in 1969, from a soldier in Vietnam she had once dated.

    "He said in the letter that he tried to call several times before he was shipped overseas, but of course in 1969, we didn't have answering machines," she said.

    And then over the weekend, Heifetz got a 1969 birthday card from her brother, postmarked a day before her mother's card.

    The Postal Service says it has processed and delivered more than 7 trillion pieces of mail since 1969 and that it's unlikely the three pieces of mail addressed to Heifetz were lost in the system. But it can't explain where they may have been for 45 years. 

    Heifetz says the unexpected deliveries bring her a sense of closure as she packs up to retire to Nevada, where her brother and his family live.