Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear Edna

Dear Edna,

There are so many things that I have wanted to talk to you about over the last year that I don't even know where to begin.  I have my own little private conversations with you every day, and I have to believe that you hear them.  There are still days when I do not believe that you are gone.  Actually, parts of most days, that's the case.  My head knows it's true, but the reality of us without you is a reality that no one really wants to accept.  And in spite of knowing that you are around us somewhere, there is nothing I wouldn't do to be able to have another conversation with you, tell you all the things I couldn't tell you in that last week, and to be able to hold you and give you a hug. 

As I write this, Andrew is calling me from the bathtub.  He misses you a lot, too, and it breaks my heart that he didn't have you with him longer than four years.  He is so perceptive and so sharp, just as you always said he was, and he knows entirely too much about death for my taste.  We sat at your grave this afternoon, Andrew, Lion, and I, and just took in the peace of where your body lies, surrounded now by not only Granny and Grandpop, but by Uncle Bob, who I know keeps you company wherever you both are.  Andrew sat quietly in my lap while I cried and he sniffled, and I told him how very proud of him you are and how much you love him even still.  I want him to remember and know.  I think about you every time we read a book together, and wish you could see what a fantastic reader he already is. 

Dad is doing better lately, although I think he would disagree.  He hosted a dinner last night (I know you know this already), and showed amazing strength.  He still feels lost without you, and is searching for something to fill the void.  We humor his talk about buying "trikes" and running off to the tropics, but we all know he's looking for something that doesn't remind him every second of every day that you aren't with us anymore.  He is so proud of all of our places at the lake, and I'm with him in wishing that you were here to enjoy us "taking over" the campground.  He's worried about me and my bronchitis that won't go away, and he finally put it into words the other night--"That's how Edna's started, with that cough she couldn't get rid of." 

I found a poem the other day that describes how I feel constantly about where you are.

"Death Is Nothing At All"
by Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all:
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you;
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone:
Wear no forced air or solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the
little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
Just around the corner. All is well.

I love you, and I thank you for being a mom to me for the short thirty years that I had you.  I miss you more than I could ever say, and I wish with all my heart that I had been allowed and able to say these things to you before you left us.  I know you knew them, though, and that consoles me.  And I know you hear me now, and that comforts me.  Thank you for being my biggest supporter and advocate all those years, and for loving me as if I were your own.  Rest well, E.  

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