Dearest Rachel –
I know I touch on the topic from time to time, but for the most part, I’m loathe to talk about politics in my letters to you. To be sure, that wasn’t always the case when you were around; like with my dad at the dinner table, I enjoyed sparring with you on certain philosophical perspectives, since we were fairly evenly matched on an intellectual level, and at the end of the day, we agreed on more than enough in this realm to render the disagreements we might have had insignificant. It was usually a matter of understanding the subject as it came to light, or a degree of faith or enthusiasm for or against a given stance.
But politics is such a divisive issue in this day and age, whereas the majority of the things I’m going through in your absence are the sort of things that could be understood by someone standing on either side of the aisle – and without real regard to how far to the right or left of that aisle they stood:
- Let’s start with the very beginning, the accident that took you away from me, Daniel and everyone that loved you. Who on earth, regardless of political perspective, has not experienced the loss of someone they cared for deeply? As much as I wish that I could offer some unique perspective on grief and loss and pain, those that read these letters to you do so because they understand and relate to what I’m dealing with – or at the very least, they know that at some point, they will. Death comes to us all, darling, and it comes for all those around us; the question is, how are we to come to terms with that.
- Of course, there are also the things you left behind for me to deal with (as what happened gave you no warning, no opportunity to prepare; neither of us had even prepared wills, since your parents’ estates hadn’t been completely sorted out yet). Chief among them, of course, was Chompers. And as much as I wish I could please and entertain the Internet with heartwarming stories of a man and his dog, it didn’t work out that way. I never expected it to, as I was predisposed against animals in the first place, which probably makes me some kind of heartless jerk in a lot of people’s eyes. But I did the best I could, tending to him in his last days, and he lasted a lot longer than any of us – including you – would’ve anticipated. All of which should be yet another situation that transcends politics and other such opinions.
- And while Chompers was the most significant (and most demanding) part of what you left behind, there was so much else to deal with in the wake of your departure. Cleaning out the house, and digging through all your prized possessions (and the memories attendant upon them all) was a herculean task that I could never have accomplished on my own. Thank God for Jan and a supportive family and friend group to help me with this. I know I would regret having disposed of so much were I to answer to you, but if you were here to answer to, everything I’m doing and going through would be a moot point to begin with. All of which leads into yet another part of the saga…
- …the remodeling. Ever since that built-in oven gave up the ghost after nearly sixty years of service, we’ve been meaning to fix up that awful kitchen of hours. I’d always teased you about how we’d need to clean everything out of there in order to proceed with the renovation, and would probably would need to happen to allow us to do that. Well, it happened, and now the place is clean – or at least, clean enough. Measurements have been taken, parts and styles have been agreed on and ordered, and the whole thing is in process to go forward in either April or May, so I can expect a lot of interesting content for those two months, which again, shouldn’t have anything to do with what political opinion a reader might have (although I’m sure some of them will take issue with my taste, but it’s my kitchen, my right to do as I please with).
- Similarly, some might argue that I’m moving too soon on trying to find someone to fill your place in the household. Again, it’s my life and my choice, but I understand where someone else might be coming from. I’d like to think I’ve said my piece on this, and I hope you’d be understanding of my belief that a life lived alone isn’t much of a life. Which sounds like I’m criticizing most of your friends; I’m not, or at least, I’m trying not to. What I mean is that, I enjoyed my time so much with you, that I can’t imagine going through life alone. I know the quest to find someone like you (or maybe, not so much like you as suitable for me and Daniel) is going to be long and difficult, so I figure I’d best get started as soon as I feel able. And this particular epic tale will also be likely to entertain you and anyone else who comes across it as it unfolds; love, and the search for it, is a truly universal concept.
- As is the relationship between a parent and child. I know full well that Daniel thinks of you and I much the same way you thought of your dad and mom – he probably wishes that, given the choice, if he were left with but one parent, that it would’ve been you rather than myself. But sometimes in life we’re not given choices; life simply happens to us, regardless of what we want. I don’t want to say that we’re estranged, but he’s been hard to relate to, and more so over time. I expect this to break at some point, when all the things that he expects to happen by a certain time don’t, but in the meantime, this is still something that any parent, regardless of leaning, would be able to understand.
Of course, the rift between me and Daniel is where politics comes into it. So I should touch on it, particularly in light of the events of last night; election night.
I try so hard to be apolitical, but I’ll admit to following the results as they come in every four years. So it’s weird to be doing it on an off year like this, particularly since it doesn’t really seem to pertain to anything that’s going on nationally or locally. And yet, these days, it seems like every race is a life-or-death struggle for the survival of one opinion or another, and with the domination of one party on a national level, there is the fear that, between government and Big Tech, the other party is in line to be legislated or deplatformed out of existence.
Of course, that’s not what happened last night. After waging a monumentally stupid campaign against every parent’s right to have a say in their child’s upbringing and education, the man who barely a month ago was a shoo-in for the governorship of Virginia seems to have lost it. And I don’t mind telling you, Daniel was exultant as he and I watched the results come in. He was practically trembling, claiming it was the Lord’s power and glory flowing through him. He even asked me if I had any ailments he could cure me of, as he felt that he was full of so much power that he could do just that. I accepted his hug regardless – if it could cure the rift between us, that at least would be something.
But in the light of the morning, I’ve heard nothing about a concession speech. And there are several days in which all the mail-in ballots are given time to arrive and be counted. Which means, this isn’t over yet. My family has lived in the Chicago area long enough to know that when the fix is in, the chosen horse will win if they have to drag it across the finish line. Not saying that suburban Washington is as corrupt as Chicago, but I’m not gonna call anything over ever again. Bear in mind, the guy who seems to have lost is well known for insisting that Dubya never won either of his races, either – although he considers anyone questioning 2020 to be a dupe of the Big Lie. So yeah, he’s not gonna concede.
All of which goes to show that Daniel wasn’t even able to cure me of my cynicism. Or maybe it’s just a lack of faith on my part.
Still, these seem to be baby steps in the right direction. Maybe things will be clearer by the end of the week.
Until then, honey, wish us ALL luck. We’re going to need it.
A postscript: It would seem that the race has in fact been conceded by the man who was supposed to win this one going away. Evidently, there will not be any late breaking vote dumps, and Virginia has itself a winner. So I need to give the gentleman props for haveing the grace to (finally!) take the high road and admit defeat when it’s happened. Cheers.