Dearest Rachel –
You know I began this site as a form of therapy – a way to reach out to you despite knowing full well that you would see neither a word nor a pixel of it. It made a sort of bookending sense – we started our courtship by writing letters to each other after I left you behind upon graduating college, it only made sense to send letters to you now that you’ve left me behind on earth in God’s infinite wisdom.
And while I really hadn’t expected to manage a post every single day, I have to admit, the tiny dopamine rush that WordPress gives telling me “You’re on a XX-day streak on Letters to Rachel! Keep up the good work!” is slightly addictive.
Besides, it’s one of those ‘little things’ that ‘mean a lot’ in a relationship, isn’t it?
But what to write about, when a day is over and done? It’s actually kind of difficult on a day like this, in particular. Working in front of a desk is one thing, but when I’m at home, working with Jan, deciding what of your stuff goes and what stays, well, that’s what I’m doing, and there’s no time in front of the computer to try and write something down. And there were things I had to stop her on, and others that, well, we didn’t think about until too late (although Jan was right, as it turns out, about our bathroom vanity mirror – just another thing the basement wasn’t kind to – guess I’ll need to get a new one for that after all).
Then there was my lunch with Scott (which until an hour or two beforehand I assumed was to be our lunch with him. I had not expected him to want to meet with me alone, as I figured Daniel was more in need of getting out and engaging in human interaction. For what it’s worth, we did seafood for lunch, to ensure he didn’t feel like he was missing out). Among the topics:
- My first admission about how I am trying desperately to stifle any resentment (and maybe, if I’m really going to be honest, anger) at happy – or at least, contented – couples, be it at church or the wider world.
- Addressing my concerns about counseling (as well as explaining why the couple he recommended hasn’t contacted us – evidently, they were in the middle of a vacation at the time.
- Which lead into a disabusing of myself of the notion that most of my human interactions outside of family have been on a professional basis (Jan in her role as an organizer, Greg as a lawyer, Scott as a pastor, that sort of thing. Although, to be fair, I know these people as church family and friends already, so it’s not purely mercenary, I realize. Still…). Evidently (and one of the other pastors – and my cousin – Brian confirmed this after our recording session this evening), Scott doesn’t do counseling as part of his ministry. Mine – ours? – is an exceptional case, given our generational involvement in the church, our relatively young ages, the freakishly sudden nature of your passing – and the fact that, I guess, I have an interesting thought process both as a baseline and as I wander through the haunted funhouse that my life has turned into.
- Yes, we did touch on Daniel and his circumstances – and the fact that I wasn’t – am not – the type to force his to do anything, regardless of how he might need whatever it is I can’t bring myself to make him do. Not to mention the fact that I never connected with him the way you did, and most likely never will. And apparently, this is not something I should be despairing over, although I’m not happy about it, regardless
- Along the way, I observed that the whole ‘cat’s n the cradle’ phenomena of missing out on the lives of those closest to you is not reserved exclusively for fathers and sons, or even parents and children, but that I missed a lot of your life as well, be it by pointing the camera in the wrong direction or just all three of us together physically watching television or YouTube and just being on our separate computers at the same time.
- He also warned me about the dangers of female friendships at this time – which I kind of understand, given the circumstances. I run the risk of giving off a “desperate” vibe, which I recall from my college days was decidedly not a turn-on (and this is more from observation than actual experience – in all honestly, I had literally given up on having a girlfriend in those days, and what ‘dates’ I went on were the sort where it was simply agreed that going to whatever event was mutually agreed upon as a boring thing to do alone, and “You wanna come with?” “Sure” was essentially the order of the day). I get it, but even back then, I was decidedly more comfortable around females than males – and the fact that this ran both ways was a nice bonus – and I’m still not entirely comfortable around other guys. Yeah, these last two topics intersect, too – I was never the type to do ‘a night out with the boys,’ and yet I still feel like I didn’t spend enough time with you, honey. The point is, any attempts at friendship will appear to involve a sizing-up of someone as a potential wife, and – just like back in college – no one’s ready for that audition yet. Least of all, me. But it does put a crimp in my ability to be with the sort of people I’m most comfortable with (because my current circumstances makes them uncomfortable).
- And the problem that, there is no point in time where I will actually arrive at a state of ‘back to normal.’ Life is never going to be normal again, at least, not the normal we knew.
- All of which could easily be topics for further examination at another time.
Then there was the coming home through what could quite possibly be Chompers’ last snow (not that he’d miss it, but there are things that you don’t realize might be your last time to enjoy/appreciate/endure, and you don’t know it at the time).
And once I’m home, Jan explains where everything has been put, and what I need to go through (if I have time – more on that in a minute) before she returns tomorrow morning – which is now this morning, or rather, in a couple hours. Yes, I need to go get some sleep, but these things have to be told, and told now, don’t they? I lose – have lost – enough of my life by not having it recorded in one way or another. I can’t keep losing memories any more.
Then, on to preparing MREs before heading off for tonight’s recording session. I suppose I could do some work in the down time while waiting for the band to be ready, but even their rehearsals might need the cue cards, so I need to stay more or less ready.
Once home (after picking up dinner for Daniel), we watch a few videos, catching up on new content from some of our favorite channels (still regretting as to how you miss out on these things – although Daniel thinks you’re able in some way to participate in viewing things with him at various times. I’d like to think he might have a point, but I figure you have much more to occupy yourself with these days), before I realize that Chompers has nodded off, and I’d better do likewise so I can deal with him once he wakes up around midnight (or, as it turned out, about 1am) and I have to get him outside, and give him his nighttime pill and treats… and deal with the fact that it takes him forever to get suitably comfortable once in the bedroom.
So here I am at four in the morning, trying to catch you up on all the little things that I couldn’t get down while they were happening.
Well, at least I’ll get my little dopamine rush for Tuesday.
Maybe I’ll even have more for you later today. After I get some sleep.