when i was little, my mother filled our house with little cards and bookmarks and plaques and the like—things she'd find at the christian bookstore or something. she’d tape them to mirrors. lean them against photo frames. hide them in books and bathroom drawers. pictures of butterflies and kittens and blurry sunsets with verses and sayings like "be patient with me, god isn’t finished with me yet." at one point she’d found an alcoholics anonymous "god grant me the serenity..." prayer and magnet-ed it to the refrigerator with a "one day at a time" magnet. she had no idea, of course. she just liked it. it gave her hope.
to this day, i find little business-card-sized messages hidden in my mail when i go to pick it up from my parents’ house. "hang in there, baby" they’ll say.