An empty mailbox is a sad sight. But for Stan Smurthwaite, that hasn’t been much of a problem lately.
The 95-year-old resident of Elmira, Ont. has been deluged with letters from coast to coast since he wrote a letter to Maclean’s last spring describing the joy he gets from opening mail.
“Even bills means someone is thinking of me!” he wrote.
Smaro Kamboureli, a professor in the University of Toronto’s department of English in the Faculty of Arts & Science, was one of many to write to Smurthwaite.
“It was in the middle of the lockdown in Toronto and I was profoundly aware of what it means to be completely isolated,” she told Maclean’s. “I wanted to reach out to an elderly man and say: ‘You matter. I can hear your voice.’”