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”

Can’t Get Too Comfortable

Dearest Rachel – I swear, honey, I have got to learn – or perhaps, rather unlearn – about falling asleep in the rocking chair. Namely, that I really shouldn’t do that. It messes up my sleep schedule, breaking the night in half. The trouble is, it’s too comfortable in that chair. I watch videos withContinue reading “Can’t Get Too Comfortable”

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”

American Royalty

Good morning, honey – I woke up this morning with the – not realization, exactly, as it was a dream and cannot be relied on – that Tom Wopat and John Schneider might well have just been heavily into stock cars during their days at Hollywood High School, and lucked into a television series fromContinue reading “American Royalty”

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?”

A Day to Remember

Dearest Rachel – Twenty-nine years ago today, we were simply hanging out at the hotel, waiting for family and friends to arrive and greeting them as they did. Only one story stands out with me at this point – most of the others, I’m afraid, have faded into obscurity. It was some of your mom’sContinue reading “A Day to Remember”

The Box of War

Dearest Rachel – I don’t think you performed this before I was aware of you; at least, not when you performed it for the BASIC group as part of a talent night. If I recall, you had also recited this as part of a similar talent night on the educational cruise you took with yourContinue reading “The Box of War”

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”

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”

In Defiance of Entropy

Dearest Rachel – When I was a kid, I collected some book about the ‘Official Rules.’ I don’t recall if that was what was titled, but I think it may have been. These weren’t rules for a game, or instructions for anything in particular; just observations on how life worked, or didn’t. Stuff like Murphy’sContinue reading “In Defiance of Entropy”

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”

Talking to Thin Air

Dearest Rachel – There are some days in which I have to confess I’m not all that motivated to write you these letters. Sometimes it’s that I’m distracted by other things that require me to respond to them, so I spend my writing energy on something – or someone – else, thus causing what IContinue reading “Talking to Thin Air”

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”

Civic Duty Never Ends

Dearest Rachel – Out of all the mail received yesterday, the only thing that wasn’t either an advertisement or a plea for money (but I suppose I repeat myself) was a summons for you to appear for jury duty in about a month for now. I suppose, since your death was recorded in a differentContinue reading “Civic Duty Never Ends”

All the Same, All Around the World

Dearest Rachel – You know how our Boy with the Blaze, Simon Whistler, loves to talk about how ‘the past was the worst.’ Heck, he’s even made T-shirts with the slogan on it. He’s hardly wrong. I didn’t save too many of the books that we brought back from your folks (again, that merciless diktatContinue reading “All the Same, All Around the World”

Out in a Freezing Rain

Dearest Rachel – I’m not gonna play the song here and now, because it deserves it’s own essay sometime in the future, but Mark Heard wrote “Another Good Lie” about those well-intentioned lies he had been told in his younger days by his closest friends and those older and supposedly wiser than himself. Things likeContinue reading “Out in a Freezing Rain”

Self-Indulgence and Survivor’s Guilt

Dearest Rachel – Among the many reasons why I wish you were still here, you could remind me of some of the things we did together back in the day. I have mostly vague recollections, and the occasional sharp image or phrase, but that’s about it. Sometimes, the only way I can remember when somethingContinue reading “Self-Indulgence and Survivor’s Guilt”

It’s Only Property – But it’s All We Have

Dearest Rachel – Since I was awoken this morning by the dog whimpering (he’d pooped in his sleep on the blanket yet again – I do sometimes wonder why I wash it every time he does this, as this means I’ll wind up sticking it in the laundry almost every day at this rate), thisContinue reading “It’s Only Property – But it’s All We Have”

Secular Answers

Dearest Rachel – You might remember the many times that we would talk together about various issues of the day, and what’s up with the younger generation. Part of that had to do with one of my ideas for a YouTube channel – I was hoping to illustrate to a younger audience than ourselves (which,Continue reading “Secular Answers”

If You’re Looking for Devils

Dearest Rachel – When I was a freshman in high school, I think it was our youth group that went to another church where there was a presentation about the evils of rock music. I heard it all there: the ‘fact’ that the Eagles’ Hotel California album featured Anton LeVay head of the church ofContinue reading “If You’re Looking for Devils”

The Drama Llama

Dearest Rachel – Among the piles of clothing that filled the sunroom once upon a time, there were some Christmas presents that you never got the chance to enjoy. There was the odd item that didn’t arrive in time, since you had ordered them for yourself (it was a standing agreement that if you foundContinue reading “The Drama Llama”

Nevermind

Here we are now, entertain us… Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, from Nevermind (1991) Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained?! Maximus (Russell Crowe), Gladiator (2000) Dearest Rachel – Well, I said that I would let you know about the festival once I actually went to one (Although I specified that it would beContinue reading “Nevermind”

Not in the Night Soil Business

Dearest Rachel – Leave it to the Victorians to come up with such a quaint and pleasant-sounding term for a decidedly unpleasant job dealing with decidedly unpleasant material. In the days before indoor plumbing was common, human waste was removed from the privies and cesspools of urban dwellings and transported out of the city byContinue reading “Not in the Night Soil Business”

The End of Pride Month…?

Dearest Rachel – So, today is June 30th. And we all know what that means: the end of Pride Month, apparently. WordPress even got in on the act a couple of days early; their app, which has been a swirl of colors for most of the month, changed back to its standard basic blue onContinue reading “The End of Pride Month…?”

A Bit Player In My Own Story

Dearest Rachel – For the better part of the last century, at least, it’s been easy to think of our lives as a movie, with ourselves at the center of the story. I suppose it might have been thought this way prior to the popularization of the cinema, with the story being literature instead –Continue reading “A Bit Player In My Own Story”