Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Pomp and Circumstance

Dear Rach,

Today your dad wrote about how proud he is of you (damn, I still have trouble using the past tense! Is that denial? Or perhaps it's because I think Rod is still proud, as am I).

I think of that beautiful day in early May (almost 6 months ago to the day) when you graduated from ODU and how proud I was of you and your fierce determination to succeed in spite of the many obstacles along your way. I knew you could do it! I cheered you along from the very beginning and tried to keep you motivated each month with my little gifts of encouragement. I so wanted you to acheive what I never managed to do when faced with those same obstacles.

Do you know how much it meant to me to discover my first note of encouragement to you in your wallet? It made me feel like I had made a difference in your life and wasn't simply your dad's wife that you grew to like and not simply tolerate. And I know that it was even more than that. You and I actually became friends during the last couple of years of your life, talking about books, famous artists, potty-training, recipes, etc. You even helped me, telling me that Amy would eventually come around and be close to me, as you had with your mom.

I miss you so much. Every time I go into the kitchen to fix a nice dinner I think of you, remembering how you'd ask me for recipes for your favorite dishes. Or chatting with me about Rachel Ray. Or sharing dieting tips from the South Beach Diet. Or simply hanging out with me while I cut up stuff for salad, keeping me company when you could've easily stayed glued to the tv or up in the guest room (what a difference from that awful summer when you were 13 or 14!).

I miss your chatty phone calls where you'd gush on and on, proud mommy that you were, telling me all about what Shaylyn had done or said, feeling your happiness in motherhood. You were such a damn good mommy. I told you that constantly and I hope you believed me. You were a natural. And yet, in spite of your ability and confidence, you still let me make suggestions and even called me that one night when Shaylyn had a high fever, wanting to know if you were overreacting (or underreacting). You have no idea how nice it was to feel needed by you.

I miss being able to talk to you about Amy. It's been so hard on her, losing you, and if it'd been anyone else, I would be able to call you and ask you how she's coping and trust you to tell me what I need to know without you breaking any confidences with her. You two were so close and could lean on each other as sisters should.

I'm rambling and need to go start dinner. As always, you've been in my thoughts all day, especially during my walk a little bit ago. I was listening to my IPod and heard Don McLean's *Vincent* and wondered if it was a sign. I want to believe in that possibility. I wish I believed in Heaven...




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