As of today, it has been three years since you’ve been gone. Sometimes it seems so much longer than that. But on some days, it seems like just yesterday that I got the call from John and my world was changed. I learned the true meaning of grief with just one phone call.
There have been a lot of changes in three years. Your Alex is now 17. A very tall and big guy, just as we always pictured. He is so sweet. He has a girlfriend now, with whom he claims to be in love. (Remember 17 year-old love? That was DM for you, right?) Oh, how life would be different if you were here with him. John still seems to be a bit oblivious as a parent. Alex still is willing to chat with me on facebook (can you believe it? I am on facebook!) and doesn’t flinch if I tell him I love him. He doesn’t talk much about his feelings, as I suppose it is with most teenage guys. But he has mentioned how much he misses you.
John hasn’t remarried yet, but he has been dating since just a few months after you were gone. It lasted several months, but now he is dating another person and has for a pretty long time now. I’ve never met her. He doesn’t talk much about her to us. I suppose he is just the kind of guy who needs to be with someone. A bit ironic given that you were about the first woman he dated seriously before he married you at-what-age 30?
Merle and I have two more granddaughters. All three little girls are gorgeous, sweet things. They remind me a lot of the three of us…sisters who fight, argue, love and gang up against the world. N is doing such a good job as daddy-we are very proud of him. The girls still love the costumes you made for them, they love to dress up.
Mom is now 83. She moved near me after your death. It’s been hard for her to be back here in the cold weather after just getting used to Virginia. She still just sits in her room and reads or watches TV. I know you worried about that in Virginia, thinking it was hard for her to be in the South. But it wasn’t that at all. She just seems to feel most comfortable all by herself. I know that it has been very hard for her to lose you. You were always her favorite, no matter what you thought.Merle and I don’t compare to you and John.
Our Big J, still the oldest but not yet settled. He is dating a great woman, named Libby. I am predicting that Big J will marry her, and probably in the next year or so. They are good together. He did end up with a tall woman-just like you always told him he had to do. She keeps him busy, but is very busy and independent herself. You’d really like her.
Elo is getting married in August! Well, to be truthful, she is already married, but will have the ceremony in August. I know how excited you would be about that. She still looks so much like you, and she has so many of your mannerisms. Sometimes it seems as though she is channeling you. She is living in Nebraska, of all places, but will probably end up back in Oregon.We are all missing your input into the wedding. She found a beautiful wedding dress….I know that you’d approve. She is going to look gorgeous. You know how fragile her ego is, and I know that you would be able to make the wedding so special for her. She has mentioned how much she misses you. We will definitely be thinking about you on her wedding day. Her husband is a good guy. Good for her, very supportive and low key, very smart and sensitive to her feelings. It is just too bad that he is shorter than her!
Every day I think of you. Most of the time, it is to share something that I’ve seen, read, or heard about. You and I had those long phone conversations, and now I have no one to talk to on the phone for an hour at a time! I listen to the classical music station at work but I still have a hard time hearing a mezzo soprano-I don’t think anyone’s voice equals yours. I wish I had a recording of you singing.
I still have your last voicemail message saved on my phone. I can’t listen to it, but I always save it. “Press 9 to save this message”. Every 21 days. For three years.
Hopefully, you and dad and D jr. are together. I don’t believe in heaven, but I think that there may be some sort of other dimension, perhaps a parallel universe. It may just be my overactive imagination, but I feel you nearby sometimes.
Tomorrow would be your 53rd birthday. I probably would be sending you a card with a little joke on it about getting old. I never buy those kind of cards any more, because I know that we should consider getting old a gift.
What would you have given to grow old with us?
Happy Birthday, hon. I love you. I miss you.
Your big sister, C.