Travelling in Only One Direction

Dearest Rachel – Lars asked me yesterday, as we were walking through the forest preserve by Oakton College and Beck Lake, how much I’ve been telling you about what’s going on in my life. He suggests I not tell you quite as much as I do, if only for the fast that there are otherContinue reading “Travelling in Only One Direction”

Where You Don’t Want to Go

·I tell you the truth [L Truly, truly I say to you], when you were younger, you ·tied your own belt [dressed yourself] and went where you wanted. But when you are old, you will put out your hands and someone else will ·tie [dress] you and take you where you don’t want to go.” JohnContinue reading “Where You Don’t Want to Go”

To Everything…

Dearest Rachel – So much for the need for a wake up call. My mind is going through this past week, and as I’m lying here trying to get another hour or two of sleep, it’s coming up with a few rules for future reference. Much of it sounds a lot like the third chapterContinue reading “To Everything…”

Odds Better Than Even

Dearest Rachel – I was just hearing at lunch from what I assumed to be a family at the next table over about their plans for the afternoon, such as they were. The wife of the younger couple was talking about how she had been so careful about the amount of time she had beenContinue reading “Odds Better Than Even”

A Little Piece of You

Dearest Rachel – Good friends will help you move; Great friends will help you move bodies. I suppose this means that my sister Jenn and Lars could be considered to be great friends. Now Jenn, as counterintuitive as it might be, should not come as any great surprise. Yes, as siblings, we were – andContinue reading “A Little Piece of You”

On Being ‘The Grenade’

Dearest Rachel – I’ve spoken to certain people who find themselves amused at some of the stories I tell you about my life lived after you, particularly those having to do with finding a successor to you (if you’d want to call her that). It offers a measure of comfort to me that, if IContinue reading “On Being ‘The Grenade’”

Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part one)

Dearest Rachel – I still remember our first visit to Camp Awana for family camp in the summer of 2019. I hadn’t been there since the fifth or sixth grade, I believe – or maybe it was the just the summer between them. We wandered the length and breadth of the place, discovering it wasContinue reading “Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part one)”

There’s No Way to be Subtle

Dearest Rachel – I’ve spun more than a few tales about my misadventures – and misgivings – in attempting to find romance via online sites and apps. Given that I have no idea who I might or might not be dealing with out here in cyberspace, I’m moving at a snail’s pace, because I’ve comeContinue reading “There’s No Way to be Subtle”

Before I Change My Mind

Dearest Rachel – I keep forgetting whether I’ve told you about this or not. I know I mentioned the possibility, but there are people that I meet that are surprised when I tell them about what I’m about to do. So maybe I haven’t given the specifics to you yet – I can never keepContinue reading “Before I Change My Mind”

The Shoe Finally Drops

Dearest Rachel – I teased about this the other day, because it was happening almost at the same time I was writing about dealing with another scammer on the dating app. But this one was longer in coming around. In fact, I was wondering if it would even actually happen. But I think I knewContinue reading “The Shoe Finally Drops”

More Enthused Than I

Dearest Rachel – Not too much to report in the way of dreams this morning. Just some snippets of trying to rent transportation to get to Akihabara and Comiket, only to get some kind of FaceTime call from you and Kevin(!), indicating that the two of you were already wherever I was trying to getContinue reading “More Enthused Than I”

The Sands of Ho-Na-Lee

Dearest Rachel – There are some days, darling, when I admit that there isn’t much to write to you about. Nothing much is happening, I don’t find myself inspired, and I find myself forcing myself – rather against Jan’s advice – to send you something simply for the sake of sending you something. This isn’tContinue reading “The Sands of Ho-Na-Lee”

Asking For Approval

Dearest Rachel – You might’ve been aware of it back in the day, but as it wasn’t necessarily a concern of yours, it was never really discussed, but I always would – and still do – call the folks when I’m on my way to the ‘office.’ It’s not a necessary thing – I haveContinue reading “Asking For Approval”

And I Say, “It’s All Right”

Dearest Rachel – Well, after two whole days of barely acknowledging us, it seems that the sun is back, and it’s nice to see him. Even if he is in my face in either direction that I walk. Not that that’s a complaint I’m ever going to take up with my grandchildren: “You kids haveContinue reading “And I Say, “It’s All Right””

Ore Wo Sagashite

Anata, Rei-sama – 私は自分が誰であるか、そして人生と愛から何を求めているかを発見する必要があります。 そうでなければ、私は自分が「めぐみ」を見て、彼女があなたかエリンのどちらかであることを願っていることに気付くかもしれません。 Okay… hopefully, I’ve put off all of those who might be scared off by the gratuitous Japanese. We can talk in reasonable privacy. I’m starting this letter I’m sitting on a park bench in Kimball Hill Park, staring at the fountain in the middle of the lake. You and IContinue reading “Ore Wo Sagashite”

But Father, By Your Grace

Dearest Rachel – I almost feel the need to apologize for upstaging you today; this being Sunday, I would be posting (and I have posted) some of your notes from the Purpose-Driven Life journal you were working on in 2004. But this is likely to overshadow it, I’m afraid. Of course, why shouldn’t it? MarathonContinue reading “But Father, By Your Grace”

The Point of Deception

Dearest Rachel – I had originally planned on writing you about how nice it was to have conversations first thing in the morning… but then, things took a bit of a turn. And I’m afraid this isn’t really a trip down memory lane. More often than not, while I would make a point of kissingContinue reading “The Point of Deception”

That Much Emptier

Dearest Rachel – So Kevin just left this morning, and will likely be driving through the entirety of the day, arriving home after sunset. It’s the nature of the trip, and the distance involved. He’s going home to an emptier house than ours, which is why I really shouldn’t be complaining like I am. ButContinue reading “That Much Emptier”

A Still, Dark Night

Dearest Rachel – I haven’t taken everything down, now that Chompers is with you. There is a lot to wash and pack up that belonged to him that we’ll never use again, and I’m in no mood to go through it all right away. But one thing that I did remove almost immediate is theContinue reading “A Still, Dark Night”

Only From A Distance

Dearest Rachel – I haven’t talked to you all that much recently about how things are going on the dating front. Not because I think you’d be jealous (while you never explicitly gave me the permission to find someone else after you were gone like I gave you, I’m pretty sure that your reaction whenContinue reading “Only From A Distance”

With or Without the Slash

Dearest Rachel – I guess the day has yet to come; I still see the twenty-third of each month as another milestone. It has now been eight months since the accident. Two-thirds of a year. With or without the slash, the numbers two and three have significance today. Of course, I know that others haveContinue reading “With or Without the Slash”

Never Knew I’d Need Notes

Dearest Rachel – At some point in last night’s Grief Share meeting, the video session was going over certain emotions and attitudes we might have within the first few days and weeks. Honestly, I’m not sure why I was told earlier that my grief was ‘too raw’ and it was ‘too soon’ to go throughContinue reading “Never Knew I’d Need Notes”

Surprises

Dearest Rachel – I’ll tell you, this year thus far has been absolutely full of surprises. Which means that it’s probably a good thing you’re not around to deal with them, as you hated surprises. This was particularly evident when it came to birthdays and holidays – anything having to do with gift-giving. The longContinue reading “Surprises”

Broken In

Dearest Rachel – I can’t seem to find a letter to you that tells you when I bought these running shoes, so you’ll have to take it on faith that I did, probably late in April or early in May. Scott and I went to that Runners’ High shop just outside the ‘alfresco’ section ofContinue reading “Broken In”

The Journey Continues Alone

Dearest Rachel – It’s been several days since I’ve gotten home, but there are still some images from the YMCA of the Rockies that struck me that I haven’t shared with you yet. Throughout the park, I observed a number of memorials set up from and of people who contributed to the park. There wasContinue reading “The Journey Continues Alone”

Everything Looks Different in the Morning – But What About the Afternoon?

Dearest Rachel – One of the things they talked about at Grief Share last night was the difference between actively pursuing suicide, and the simple desire to no longer live. The latter is an attitude of “if you were to take me, too, God, I wouldn’t mind,” and is a fairly normal reaction to theContinue reading “Everything Looks Different in the Morning – But What About the Afternoon?”

It’s Hard to Be the Adult When You’re Also Still the Kid

Dearest Rachel – So yesterday, as soon as we landed, I gave my folks a call to let them know I was back in town, safe and sound. But also because they had offered to pick me up at the airport and bring me home. You’ll recall that I commented this weekend about how IContinue reading “It’s Hard to Be the Adult When You’re Also Still the Kid”

How Great Thou Art

Dearest Rachel – So, this morning was the final session for the weekend’s retreat. Luke drove us up a hill (because the YMCA of the Rockies is an absolutely vast campus – we’d never have time to walk to the place), and delivered his message with this behind him: With the backdrop such as itContinue reading “How Great Thou Art”

Into Thin Air

Dearest Rachel – I think I must be way too used to living near the largest city in flyover country. As is the plane started its descent, I was looking out the window and seeing nothing but farmland and other empty space. And I couldn’t help wondering, “Where is the city? Where are the suburbs,Continue reading “Into Thin Air”

Alone at the Airport

Dearest Rachel – I’ve insisted from fairly early on that I wanted to resume my life, and continue to see the world – just that, I wanted to find someone to share those travels with. This is not one of those trips. To be fair, you wouldn’t have been able to come on this oneContinue reading “Alone at the Airport”

Overpacked

Dearest Rachel – Yes, I know it’s only for four days – including today. But I really have no idea what I’ll need out there In Colorado, so… I’m packing a little bit of everything. Two T-shirts, two long sleeve T-shirts, two rugby shirts, two sweatshirts… and this is just for the remaining three days,Continue reading “Overpacked”

Giddyup, Four-One-Nine

Dearest Rachel – Among the many channels that we used to entertain ourselves with on YouTube, both before and during the lockdown (and you probably see where this is going, but the rest of the folks reading this might not), there was a fellow by the name of James Veitch who had a particular talentContinue reading “Giddyup, Four-One-Nine”

This Is Only A Test

Dearest Rachel – So this morning, as I finally set out to walk across town to the ‘office’ at my folks’ place, I was mildly startled by the slowly rising wail of klaxons in the air, eventually surrounding me on all sides until I was very nearly at the (all but deserted) downtown area. It’sContinue reading “This Is Only A Test”

A Tourist Barely One Town Over

Dearest Rachel – So here I am, wandering around this park in Schaumburg; I’ve been invited to SeptemberFest by someone I met over the app. Unlike my dinner with Ellen, I guess this is something of a date – at least, once she’s done working the bingo booth for the Lions Club. Assuming I canContinue reading “A Tourist Barely One Town Over”

And So It Begins

Dearest Rachel – So here we are. I never thought I’d be doing this again; maybe that’s part of the point. Maybe this partly some form of karmic punishment for not having taking you on enough dates back when I had a chance. It’s true that when you’re married – especially for a lengthy periodContinue reading “And So It Begins”

Unsettled

Dearest Rachel – It’s a challenging thing to try to navigate the ocean that is the dating pool. I chatted with a woman who seemed frustrated that the men she was meeting didn’t seem to know what they wanted out of a woman. Since I didn’t see her as a potential match (and therefore wasContinue reading “Unsettled”

Not In Crazy

Dearest Rachel – I understand that there’s an old saying about relationships: “Don’t stick your [neck] into crazy.” I’m pretty sure I’m off by a couple of letters there, but I think you get the idea. I bring this up to update you on the story of the, ah… woman? bot? that I spoke ofContinue reading “Not In Crazy”

Group Therapy

Dearest Rachel – It’s surprising to consider how busy my weekends are, especially when I’m getting questions from strangers about whether or not I’m free, and I have to answer ‘well, no, not really.’ Today has been a little bit more than usual, however. For what it’s worth, Pastor Joel seems to think I’m readyContinue reading “Group Therapy”

Sunday Rush

Dearest Rachel – After a couple of days of relative quiet upon enrolling on this dating app, starting this morning, things went somewhat crazy. I’m not complaining, exactly, but the ‘feast or famine’ situation – if this is what the typical experience is like – is a bit disorienting. As I mentioned previously, for theContinue reading “Sunday Rush”

Sending Smiles

Dearest Rachel – Well, it’s been done. I’ve created a profile, with Jan’s input and assistance, and it’s out there online for people to see. I don’t know how accurate it is, or whether I’ve shown too much or too little of my hand, but well… that’s how it is. What’s also ‘how it is’Continue reading “Sending Smiles”

When the Veil Pulls Back

Dearest Rachel – I wonder if, at the moment of your passing, you are exposed to all the answers. Does the Lord sees fit to, at the moment which you can no longer do anything about it, release to you the wisdom of the ages, and the minutiae of how His plan is meant toContinue reading “When the Veil Pulls Back”

No Such Thing as Forever

Dearest Rachel – Today is the first time all week I’m walking. And to tell the truth, I feel a little guilty about having delayed it this long. Not that I’m particularly concerned about how much exercise I get (although I’m quite sure I should be), but that I might be disappointing someone. You see,Continue reading “No Such Thing as Forever”

Wondering if the Chains Will Hold

Dearest Rachel – When I was a little kid, I really wasn’t much for roller coasters. The idea of being spun around and inverted at those dizzying speeds, suspended at heights that, were I to fall from, would undoubtedly kill me (and that was merely the drop itself; never mind the metal mechanisms and trackContinue reading “Wondering if the Chains Will Hold”

Dreams of Future Passed

Dearest Rachel – To say that the events of the past few years have upended my plans would be rather a gross understatement. Hey, look, kids, check it out – it’s the latest installment of the adventures of Marvel’s newest superhero, Captain Obvious! Or would he be a DC type of character? I don’t know…Continue reading “Dreams of Future Passed”

Measuring For The Makeover

Dearest Rachel – I haven’t forgotten that this is the five-month anniversary since your departure. It is going to be a long time (if ever, let’s face it) before I forget about the significance of the twenty-third of the month. What’s interesting about it, is how often I have something going on – and moreContinue reading “Measuring For The Makeover”