Resentful of Mercy

Dearest Rachel – I can’t necessarily speak for you, but I have always felt quite safe in our home. Despite its location on a major thoroughfare – or maybe because of it, as its high visibility and lack of street parking precluded most easy break-in possibilities – and its location literally on the ‘wrong sideContinue reading “Resentful of Mercy”

Aniki no Yuutsu

Dearest Rachel – So, yesterday morning, as part of the Sunday service, our worship pastor, Jansen, was ordained. It’s something of a requirement for pastoral staff and elders (as you well know, since I went through the same theological training in those last few years before your accident, although I wasn’t required to write aContinue reading “Aniki no Yuutsu”

Floods, Droughts and Equity

Dearest Rachel – There are things you don’t notice when they don’t apply to you. For instance, whenever I go shopping at Meijer, I pretty much ignore everything except for the grocery section; that’s basically dismissing out of hand nearly three-quarters of the store. As far as I’m concerned, the clothing, the housewares, the gardening,Continue reading “Floods, Droughts and Equity”

Twice the Loss

Dearest Rachel – I’d already started a letter to you last night, based on the events of last night – or rather, an event from last night – but upon waking up from this, I had to tell you about it. Another dream, of course, so dream logic – or rather, the lack thereof –Continue reading “Twice the Loss”

Bluffing With Cards in Hand

Dearest Rachel – Well, sometimes these things resolve themselves. It turned out that, while Erin and Ellen weren’t going to be available, I got a text from Kerstin asking whether we were getting together Friday night – guess she was getting used to it being a weekly thing, for which I don’t blame her. SinceContinue reading “Bluffing With Cards in Hand”

Picking at the Wound

Dearest Rachel – You would think that, because I’m writing you every day, I’d be constantly marinating my soul in the sensation of having lost you. Even as I’m chatting with others – even with possible candidates to fill the empty spot in our house and lives – when they ask what I do, IContinue reading “Picking at the Wound”

Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part two)

Dearest Rachel – I’m not going to go so far as to give Mike credit for remembering; he juggles dozens of volunteers across three campuses, and all of their attendant schedules. I’m sure he’s just slotted me where and when he needed me to be, especially after giving me an extended break after working allContinue reading “Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part two)”

Passion Endured

The death of ·one that belongs to the Lord [his loyal ones/saints]    is precious in his ·sight [L eyes]. Psalm 116:15, Expanded Bible Dearest Rachel – You’d probably think, based on the title of this letter, that this is going to be another one of those essays where I go on and on about how much I miss this orContinue reading “Passion Endured”

姫初 (Hime-Hatsu)

Dearest Rachel – New Year’s Day in America doesn’t have all that much associated with it, as far as I can tell. Frankly, it’s difficult for most people to engage in anything when they’re just waking up halfway through the day, nursing a hangover. The best most people can manage is to switch on theContinue reading “姫初 (Hime-Hatsu)”

A Prayer For Daniel

Father God – First of all, thank You for being willing and desirous for us to call You that. The idea that the Creator of the Universe is willing to consider us His children when we, as a rule, do little more than bring You embarrassment and regret that You even thought to create us,Continue reading “A Prayer For Daniel”

Muddling Through

Dearest Rachel – I have to confess that, as I was putting together yesterday’s letter, I was finding it paradoxically more difficult to write and complain about the songs the more I tried to do so. I was getting somewhat self-conscious about the self-pitying tone of my essay the further along I got. Between tryingContinue reading “Muddling Through”

A Tourist in Toyland

Dearest Rachel – Since I’ve either a.) been out of the country, or b.) shopping from home (or c.) both a. and b., thanks to the fact that I can shop online from anywhere, including a hotel in Switzerland), I haven’t been hearing a lot of Christmas music this year. It’s a bit of aContinue reading “A Tourist in Toyland”

The Question of Elihu

Dearest Rachel – There are certain passages and characters in the Bible whose existence give me pause. I talked with you a few times when I was trying to put together scripts for a possible YouTube channel about the problems I always had with Manassah, who seemed to defy the wisdom of the Proverbs byContinue reading “The Question of Elihu”

It Could Be Worse

Dearest Rachel – It was one of those many inside jokes we used to have between each other. Any time we were in a bad situation of one sort or another, we would often encourage each other with Eye-gor’s line. Granted, if it was raining, the effect was lost, but still… I’ve tried to maintainContinue reading “It Could Be Worse”

Dancing While It’s All Torn Down

Dearest Rachel – This is probably what comes of driving to the ‘office’ as the weather chills, and the rains that fall are cold and unpleasant. As I’ve said, I’m no runner, and I have no desire to expose myself to that sort of weather if I don’t have to. That being said, it’s suchContinue reading “Dancing While It’s All Torn Down”

Do You Miss Anyone?

Dearest Rachel – One of the reasons you were so concerned about your folks as they gradually moved into their twilight years was that – as far as you could see – their lives gave no indication of the salvation they supposedly had. Sure, they were in church every Sunday, and put their few bucksContinue reading “Do You Miss Anyone?”

Friday I’m In Love

Dearest Rachel – One of the nice things about the autumn is being able to coordinate clothes. A plain old sweatshirt can be made to look like business casual gear if you wear a collared shirt (either a dress shirt or polo, it doesn’t necessarily matter – although I prefer the latter, as it doesn’tContinue reading “Friday I’m In Love”

Overlooked Traumas

Dearest Rachel – So last night at Grief Share, the subject under discussion was that of trauma. And while it could be argued that any loss can be considered traumatic from a certain point of view, tonight’s session dealt somewhat specifically with the likes of the more sudden variety – murders, suicides, multiple deaths (suchContinue reading “Overlooked Traumas”

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”

Mysterious Magazines

Dearest Rachel – Well, your magazine arrived yesterday, like it always has every month for years on end. We’ve never figured out where they came from, or who ordered them for us… or who’s paying for them. Somehow I doubt it’s Bryan Hamilton. I do have at least one conjecture. In your folks’ waning days,Continue reading “Mysterious Magazines”

Replacement

Dearest Rachel – Well, if it’s here at church, no one’s seen it. So tonight, I bought myself a replacement Grief Share workbook. The few bucks spent on it are of little concern, but I’m none too thrilled about losing four weeks of notes. Still, this ought to guarantee that the old one shows upContinue reading “Replacement”

A Kiss Atop the Lid

Dearest Rachel – I don’t know if you remember that scene in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns where Serena Kyle enters her apartment with that stock line, “Hi honey, I’m home!” followed by a quick beat, whereupon she adds, “Oh, yeah. That’s right; I live alone.” That’s what it’s like to come home these days. ItContinue reading “A Kiss Atop the Lid”

Having the Right

Dearest Rachel – My parents celebrated their sixty-first wedding anniversary last Friday. It’s a difficult number for me to wrap my head around. Of course, they’ve always been married for seven and a half years longer than I’ve been alive, but the longer I live, the larger their number gets, to the point where it’sContinue reading “Having the Right”

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”

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”

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”

Running From the Void

Dearest Rachel – It’s two o’clock in the morning. Chompers has been silent for nearly an hour. And I am lying here, somehow unable to fall asleep, with a host of nebulous thoughts whirling through my head, none of which are quite concrete enough to set to text. But if I don’t do something, ifContinue reading “Running From the Void”

Darkest Night

Dearest Rachel – No light. No air-conditioning. No fans. No Internet. It’s truly been one of our darkest nights. Literally. According to Daniel, everything went sideways shortly before I got home from walking with Erin last night a little bit before eight. By the way, that was rather a washout in its own right. NeitherContinue reading “Darkest Night”

Can’t Get Used to It

Dearest Rachel – After getting Chompers settled last night, and staying up till just shy of midnight to ensure that he’s at least gotten himself comfortable – if not fallen asleep – I drop myself into bed and lose myself in a fitful sort of sleep; one colored with images inspired by AI’s artist guest,Continue reading “Can’t Get Used to It”

The Thirty-First of the Month

Dearest Rachel – I never really gave much thought to the thirty-first of the month. Yes, certain things occurred on the last day of the month – bills to pay, income transferred, that sort of thing that was more or less routine – but nothing that could be considered upsetting in any way. But theseContinue reading “The Thirty-First of the Month”

The Last Will and Testament of Sir Silk Cerise

“July 26, 2011 “Sir Silk Cerise – Last Will & Testament “I bequeath unto my family: a tear on their cheek, a hollow in their hearts, and my thanks for over thirteen years of love and kindness. “At 8:45, Dr. Barclay gave Sir Silk his shots to put him to sleep (He watched us, waggingContinue reading “The Last Will and Testament of Sir Silk Cerise”

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”

Part Of Each Other’s World

Dearest Rachel – Years before I met you – indeed, before I even graduated from high school (although after my relationship with Chris fell apart) – I had come up with a name for my hoped-for “someone,” much like I have done these past few months with the concept of “Megumi.” While I gave itContinue reading “Part Of Each Other’s World”

For the Briefest of Moments

Dearest Rachel – It all felt so real. You were there, in my arms. I could touch you; my arms were around your neck, and draped over your shoulders. You seemed so bewildered as to why I was sobbing so, and holding onto you like a life preserver, as if I would die were IContinue reading “For the Briefest of Moments”

Drowning Out The Silence

Dearest Rachel – It’s been an unusual day today. After scheduling the plan last week due to some unforeseen delays at the airport, Kat has invited Daniel over to her place, where they’ll do pretty much the same thing that Logan does when he comes here: watching anime. So this means the house has beenContinue reading “Drowning Out The Silence”

What Does This Say About Us?

A ·good [righteous] person can look forward to happiness,but ·an evil person can expect nothing [L the hope of an evil person will perish]. Proverbs 10:28, Expanded Bible Dearest Rachel – It wasn’t all that long ago that we were, in fact, looking forward to happiness together. So many of the things that cause most people to struggle inContinue reading “What Does This Say About Us?”

Do You Have to Study to Pass the Bechdel Test?

Dearest Rachel – I can’t recall if you’re familiar with the concept of the Bechdel Test. At its most basic, it’s meant to be a measure of the representation of female characters in a work of fiction. The idea is that in order to pass, such a work needs to a.) have at least twoContinue reading “Do You Have to Study to Pass the Bechdel Test?”

Dreams of Summer

Dearest Rachel – This letter is going to be shorter than most, more’s the pity. But I have to move fast and thank you before the sandcastle in my mind loses shape and collapses. Yes, I said thank you. I’ve complained before some times about how Daniel claims to have seen you in his dreams,Continue reading “Dreams of Summer”

Cleaning vs. Cleaning Out

Dearest Rachel – So today was pretty much the last day that we will be working on the ground floor. For all intents and purposes, we cleaned out all the rooms on this level. Correction: we have cleaned all the rooms, but not necessarily cleaned them out. There’s a difference between cleaning and cleaning out.Continue reading “Cleaning vs. Cleaning Out”

from Rachel: **Gratitude

“I know I had many wonderful years with my ‘Daddy,’ but it’s never quite enough. May I be grateful for all the time I had. “I loved my car, also but I can be grateful for the chance for upgrades.” I suppose I should be saving some of these sermon notes that clearly hail fromContinue reading “from Rachel: **Gratitude”

Left Behind Along the Way

Dearest Rachel – So, last night was the weekly online Bible study with Pastor Joel. And before he begins recording, he always asks a sort of ‘icebreaker’ question. I have to admit, sometimes it strikes me as a little odd, since most of us are regular attendees – both of the study and at churchContinue reading “Left Behind Along the Way”

I Understand the Cherry Tree

Dearest Rachel – Well, it’s another sign of spring these days, when the plant life starts to show off their blossoms and colors for the new season. It’s kind of ironic, that. While you looked forward to the idea of gardening once we bought ourselves a house (with your parents’ assistance: I remember well howContinue reading “I Understand the Cherry Tree”

Preserved Recordings

Dearest Rachel – It’s really quite strange, some of the documentation you left behind. Now, I understand that you weren’t the kind to throw out anything, but it has surprised me as to what papers you kept closest to you, the stuff you (apparently) considered to be important. Such as voicemail messages. Occasionally, you wouldContinue reading “Preserved Recordings”

No Room for an Empty Chair

Dearest Rachel – Once again, it was a near run thing. After dealing with this cold for the better (worse?) part of yesterday – and having the folks come over to deliver the food they were going to serve Daniel and me, as we were supposed to come over last night for dinner – IContinue reading “No Room for an Empty Chair”

Dumpster Dive

Dearest Rachel – There are times while she’s working that Jan encourages me to get out of the house. Now, sometimes it’s just the fact that I have appointments to keep, and she’s giving me an “I got this” type of reassurance. Other times, she senses I have work to do at the ‘office,’ andContinue reading “Dumpster Dive”