Behind the Purple Door

Dearest Rachel – Well, I mentioned in my last letter that there were topics that I can’t write about here in any detail – and then I proceeded to go into more detail than I thought possible, but only about the first two of them. And these weren’t even the ones that I actively avoidContinue reading “Behind the Purple Door”

Topics You’re Not to Talk About

Dearest Rachel – There are days when you hear me complaining about a lack of topics to talk to you about. Maybe nothing particularly notable happened (or is expected to happen) that day to fill you in on, or I’ve just crammed my head with a few hours of mindless entertainment while the boys hangContinue reading “Topics You’re Not to Talk About”

Preparations, Questions and Imaginations

Dearest Rachel – There’s something strange about driving back from a workout, and needing to stop and prepare for the next one before going home. It’s not unlike finishing up lunch, complementing the chef, and wondering immediately thereafter where and what one would be having for supper that night – a scenario that I’m muchContinue reading “Preparations, Questions and Imaginations”

The Gym Can Wait (But Not for Long)

Dearest Rachel – January is the month for resolutions, and as everybody know, although in all honesty, we were never much for them ourselves. Not because we thought we had everything together – far from it – but that we were realistic enough to know that we’d end up breaking them in the same monthContinue reading “The Gym Can Wait (But Not for Long)”

They Say the Second Year’s the Hardest

Dearest Rachel – Now that it’s over, I’m not so sure it’s true. I was told, back when I was going through the GriefShare group counseling program, that the first year without you wouldn’t actually be the worst, since one spends a good portion of it just… numb from the shock of it all, especiallyContinue reading “They Say the Second Year’s the Hardest”

You Don’t See the Light Until It’s On

Dearest Rachel – Back when I was waking up barely after five in the morning to prepare myself for the workday, I would often shower with only the nightlight on in the bathroom – because I really wasn’t ready to turn on the ceiling light, and assumed that you, in turn, might be bothered byContinue reading “You Don’t See the Light Until It’s On”

from Rachel: Walking in the Light

Read 1 John 1:5-7 three times through, briefly recording something different that stood out to you after each reading. First Reading: “Jesus is the light.”Second Reading: “Correction: God is light”Third Reading: “We have fellowship with Him when we walk in the light.” While John doesn’t explicitly say what walking in the darkness means here, heContinue reading “from Rachel: Walking in the Light”

Another Regular Commitment

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned to you right after Christmas that the folks had gotten me a gift certificate to renew my membership at the Arlington Ridge Center that you and I had bought together when the place opened up at the beginning of 2020. To be sure, it had been more for you thanContinue reading “Another Regular Commitment”

In Lieu of Conscience

Dearest Rachel – The other day, I was reading an article about the reliability of one’s conscience, and how – despite being pointed to as a rationale for faith (by no less than the apostle Paul himself!) and the proof of a fairly universal standard of good and evil – it is no substitute forContinue reading “In Lieu of Conscience”

The Illusion of Choice

Dearest Rachel – I’m not entirely sure how it is that my mind found itself pondering this concept throughout the course of the last night. Quite possibly, it was due to the video I saw that was reviewing Kurt Vonnegut’s book Slaughterhouse Five. I had read the book (and watched the film, for that matter)Continue reading “The Illusion of Choice”

To Practical Use

Dearest Rachel – I honestly don’t know if I’m boring you with my latest obsession with artificial intelligence and pictures of you. Despite your degree in computer science (which you earned essentially pre-internet, so it was practically worthless within a few years of your graduation), you rarely seemed as interested in the ins and outsContinue reading “To Practical Use”

Of Horses, Birds and Muffins

Dearest Rachel – I came up to the home office to update my weight chart (I seem to be once again stuck at a plateau, unable to move the needle unless I cut back down to no more than a single meal a day. Still, at least I’m staying a long way from where IContinue reading “Of Horses, Birds and Muffins”

The Non Blizzard

Dearest Rachel – I woke up to something other than pitch blackness this morning, which I take as a good sign. Lately, I haven’t been regularly getting my full eight hours, despite my best attempts, and I’m not exactly sure why. Not that you were ever concerned about getting that many hours at a timeContinue reading “The Non Blizzard”

A Few Words About Kevin

Dearest Rachel – As I mentioned the other day, Kevin’s stepdad asked me to write a few words about him for his memorial service, whether I could attend or not. With that in mind, and seeing as it would probably be read about now, here is what I wrote: I’m not about to claim toContinue reading “A Few Words About Kevin”

from Rachel: With Us

Out of the three sensory interactions, John had with Jesus, which would mean the most to you with this place in your life. To see Him? Touch Him? Hear Him? (I realize some of these naturally overlap but don’t get too technical.) “I love hugs, so as great as all three would be, I thinkContinue reading “from Rachel: With Us”

The Right of Refusal

Dearest Rachel – By rights, I probably should have spent last night preparing myself for the trip down to Tennessee, rather than going out to dinner with the girls as planned online with them shortly after Kevin signed off from our last gaming session together (look, how were we to know?). I had put togetherContinue reading “The Right of Refusal”

Distance and Distraction

Dearest Rachel – I feel like I should feel worse about the situation regarding Kevin’s accident, but it’s not coming to me at this point. I haven’t been able to shed a single tear about him, and that rather upsets me. it just doesn’t seem right. And yet, I’m aware of many different things thatContinue reading “Distance and Distraction”

The Shock of the News

Dearest Rachel – I have to admit, the first thing that crossed my mind when I heard the news was “Who’s going to tell Anastasia?” His Ukrainian girlfriend, who he met online through TikTok, had been a source of friction between the two of us, but she was the first thing I thought of whenContinue reading “The Shock of the News”

Other People’s Stories

Dearest Rachel – Ever since I mentioned the possibility of turning recordings of your voice into future conversation (and bemoaned the fact that I have more of Mohinder’s voice than yours), I’ve been reminded of recordings we’d planned – but never got the chance – to make. When Daniel was making plans to enroll atContinue reading “Other People’s Stories”

Only So Much We Can Do

Dearest Rachel – I know that it isn’t that you wonder about the timing of my letters from day today; whether I get it out first thing in the morning or long after it’s gone dark is of no concern of yours. Indeed, if I were to be honest with myself, I’m forced to acknowledgeContinue reading “Only So Much We Can Do”

A Look at Younger You

Dearest Rachel – Since I’m insistent on being home when Kris is coming in to clean the house – not to supervise her, mind you (indeed, between eating breakfast, brushing my teeth and doing several loads of laundry as she’s trying to make her way through each room in the house, I worry that IContinue reading “A Look at Younger You”

Sorting Out Schedules

Dearest Rachel – These days, I tend to think of my schedule as being reasonably flexible. Whenever someone wants to get together with me, at any given time, I can be there. There’s nothing cast in stone in my life that prevents me from any particular interaction. It’s not even so much that I canContinue reading “Sorting Out Schedules”

from Rachel: Word of Life

What unique title does John give Jesus in verse 1? The “Word” of “life”. Why do you think John refers to Jesus as the Word? Give this some thought even if you’ve never been given a formal explanation. “Jesus said He had not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. He was theContinue reading “from Rachel: Word of Life”

What You Get Out of It

Dearest Rachel – Even the most inspirational saying can be rendered ridiculous with the wrong (or, if you’re a comedian, the right) preface. Life is like a sewer; what you get out of it depends on what you put into it Tom Lehrer Such was what’s been going through my mind as I’ve been experimentingContinue reading “What You Get Out of It”

Arguing In (and About) Images

Dearest Rachel – There are times when I’m pretty sure my unconscious mind is trying to tell me something, but for the life of me, I can’t make out what it is. Last nights dream seemed like a message – even a warning of sorts – but it wasn’t even remotely clear as to whatContinue reading “Arguing In (and About) Images”

A Touch Of (and For) Distress

Dearest Rachel – In fairness, you were never much for cuddling, to speak of. In your mind, you had no desire to be treated like a teddy bear or a hugging pillow, and with that in mind, you chose to give me my space in turn, especially at night (assuming, not incorrectly, that such constantContinue reading “A Touch Of (and For) Distress”

I Still Can Be Happy

Dearest Rachel – There’s a certain unfortunate bias in my letters to you. This is in part because I generally make a point of writing to you first thing in the morning. To a certain extent, this is so I can get the task out of the way, and get on with the rest ofContinue reading “I Still Can Be Happy”

“Get Them the ––– Outta There!”

Dearest Rachel – Most of the time, dreams come to one more or less unbidden; none of us can say what may have prompted them, if anything. Last night’s, however, may well have been birthed by a letter I received, and promptly discarded. Not that it was telling me to go back and retrieve theContinue reading ““Get Them the ––– Outta There!””

Trying Not to Break the String

Dearest Rachel – I think it was somewhere between eight and nine o’clock that Lars called me last night, in part to wish me a happy new year, and also to decide what day this week to go walking together (for the record, we’re going tomorrow, as today is apparently threatening rain). At some pointContinue reading “Trying Not to Break the String”

Seventeen and Other Tunes

Dearest Rachel – I have to confess, I’m trying to find a style of music that I can listen to without being reminded of the many mix tape memories that we shared throughout our college and courtship days. Even stuff that grew on us by way of anime music videos can take a psychic tollContinue reading “Seventeen and Other Tunes”

The Fear of Possible Patterns

Dearest Rachel – So… now it’s 2023. Soon, it will have been two years since the accident that took you from us… and in a couple of months, it will have been another two years since your mom’s passing… and yet another two years since your dad, when this all started. I don’t know aboutContinue reading “The Fear of Possible Patterns”

from Rachel: Putting the Pieces Together

According to Matthew 4:18-22, who was John’s father and who was his brother? “Zebedee and James” What can you deduce was John’s occupation? “fisherman” According to Matthew 10:1-4, among which prestigious group is John named? “the ‘twelve disciples’ or ‘twelve apostles’” Briefly name a time early in your relationship with Christ when Jesus amazed you.Continue reading “from Rachel: Putting the Pieces Together”

Virtual Time Capsule

– Written January 3, 2022 – Dearest Rachel – I mentioned early on this year that I couldn’t explain Daniel’s beliefs in my letters to you. Much of that is because I didn’t understand them; the rest is because I couldn’t find it in myself to believe them. It bothers me that there are peopleContinue reading “Virtual Time Capsule”