Wednesday, January 18, 2006

So Far Away

Dear Rach,

We’re home. We spent four days in Virginia Beach with Shaylyn and your mom. As I expected, it was pretty rough returning to VA. We’ve only been there three times. The first was for your high school graduation. The second for your college graduation. The last for your funeral. It was tough. But I so loved spending time with Shaylyn. She is such a joy to be around. Well, for the most part. She is three and knows very much what she wants (and doesn’t want). I don’t know how Debbie manages, but in some ways it must be a good distraction.

As Rod said, I don’t know how I could live in that house. It’s filled with all your things. Your mom was kind enough to let us stay with there so we’d have more time with Shaylyn, but oh, there were some rough moments. Especially for your daddy. Everywhere we turned, there were pictures of you. You as a baby, you as a young girl, you as a mommy. Your room is now the guest room, but the armoire, dresser and closet still contain a lot of your clothes. Your makeup is still on the bathroom counter. Debbie has done a lot, but you’re still there. I don’t know how she does it, but then I have no idea what I’d do in her shoes.

We spent a few hours at Shaylyn’s preschool. You did a great job selecting it! She seems very happy there and her teachers are wonderful. We got a full tour and then stayed for a Shabbot sing-along. Shaylyn didn’t feel like singing and I didn’t push since she preferred curling up in my lap to snuggle. Pure bliss for this Nanny.

Shaylyn and I read dozens of books, played with her toys, did a little shopping and helped Grandpa make his delicious buttermilk pancakes.I took over 180 pictures! Deleted quite a few, but still wound up with far too many. She’s a beautiful little girl and very, very bright. I wish we lived closer. Not just to see her, but to help Debbie out when she needs a break.

Debbie invited a few of your friends over for a casual dinner party on Saturday night. Leena, Chad, Eric, Teri and Candace all came. I spent a long time talking with Candace and am absolutely amazed by her strength and courage. I feel like I have some answers but none that will change what happened on that awful day last May. Even if I did, you’d still be gone. Nothing can change that.

I know it was very difficult for your dad to take this trip, but I’m glad we did. I think it was important for all four of us.

More than anything, I wish you'd been there, too.

Love, Les


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