About Texts to Mary

We loved sending messages to Mary, and we know a lot of her friends did, too.

I wondered if there might be some place we could still do that, but didn’t want to use a proprietary service like Twitter, Instagram, etc. Then I had the idea of a phone number that could receive SMS text messages, and how those might be published to a simple, open website. This is the result. It’s an experiment; it might not be a great idea, or it might just fall so far short of what we miss, that it’s not worth keeping up. It might also just not be something you’re into, and that’s fine; participation in this is not a measure of how much you miss Mary.

But for now, here’s how it works. You text a message to a special phone number, and that gets posted here on this website (and on Twitter).

text exchange example

First, I have to add your phone number to the list of allowed numbers; messages sent from a phone not on the list are ignored. Along with your number, please provide the name you want the messages to show up as (your phone number will never be published online, of course). The name I entered for my phone number is “Dad”. :-)

Once that’s set up, anything you send to this new, special phone number (it is not Mary’s old phone number) will be posted to this website, and from here, auto-posted to Bluesky, Mastodon (enter your own Mastodon ID on this page to follow there), and Twitter. These are public feeds, visible to the world, so don’t send anything you aren’t comfortable being public. We reserve the right to remove your posts or your access to this site if necessary.

The rule of thumb for being added to the list is: if you messaged directly with Mary with any regularity, we’ll add you to the list. What platform you messaged with her doesn’t matter: texts, Twitter, Discord, Snapchat, whatever. They’re texts here because a phone is something pretty much everyone has, with no other apps or signups needed.

My hope is that it becomes a way for us to have occasional moments of remembrance, however tiny, of our beloved Mary. It could never reply with the warmth, humor, or tenderness she would have replied with, of course (the reply is a simple link to the new post). The point isn’t to simulate messaging with her, it’s to try to provide an outlet for some of those moments when you think, Ugh, I wish I could share this with her. As everyone’s messages go to the same feed, I hope we can also get a little solace, maybe even happiness, from seeing how others are missing her, too.

If you’re interested in trying it out, fill out this Google form. We’ll let you know if we have any questions, or, once you’re added, what the phone number is.

– Mary’s dad

Mary @maryg