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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

As Normal as the Sky

Dearest Rachel – For all that is said between us as we walk through Harms Wood, the conversations that I have with Lars are generally like whatever happens proverbially in Vegas; everything is meant to stay there, not to be repeated. But when the topic turns to the relationship you and I had – andContinue reading “As Normal as the Sky”

A Hundred Blurry Photographs

Dearest Rachel – There’s a certain joy in having a project that feels like I could really make something out of it for a change. After having my plans for a YouTube channel derailed, first by a lack of talent (both my own and trying to recruit skilled assistance) and then by outside events (includingContinue reading “A Hundred Blurry Photographs”

Bargain-Hunting Blues

Dearest Rachel – Back in the day, on the years when we were downstate visiting your folks over Christmas, we would generally make a habit of driving those five minutes or so to the edge of town, where the big box stores were located, in order to go shopping for after-Christmas bargains the day afterContinue reading “Bargain-Hunting Blues”

O Tempora! O Morales!

Dearest Rachel – While I might have considered Macomb to have been a tiny little backwater town even before I met you, it had plenty of advantages for you that wouldn’t have existed in your average backwater little town. What with the university being the main ‘industry’ of the town, there were cultural opportunities availedContinue reading “O Tempora! O Morales!”

The Other Side of the Conversation

Dearest Rachel – For all my talk yesterday about being able to lean over to you and say whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, there is, of course, another aspect to the newfound silence in my life. That is to say, the lack of response to anything I might say to you in the hereContinue reading “The Other Side of the Conversation”

Just Another Town… Again

Dearest Rachel – I want to say that it wasn’t all that long ago, but we both know better than that. High school, for both of us, was more than half a lifetime back – more like two-thirds, in fact – but the gaps tend to fill in with so many days that were indistinguishableContinue reading “Just Another Town… Again”

Let Cooler Heads Prevail

Dearest Rachel – There are so many reasons why I wish you were still here. Some are obvious at any point in time that you look at it; others, only in certain situations that come up so infrequently that even I tend to forget about them. This is one of those latter things, and oneContinue reading “Let Cooler Heads Prevail”

A Rest Arrested, A Connection Made

Dearest Rachel – I really thought I’d be better at this; given that I was yawning like crazy even as the folks were driving Daniel and I to the airport, I assumed I’d be able to fall asleep on the plane without any difficulty. It was certainly late enough in the evening, and I hadContinue reading “A Rest Arrested, A Connection Made”

Tapped Out (for the Moment)

Dearest Rachel – There are days when the slightest thing can trigger a flood of memories for me to write you about. Like Marcel Proust going on for pages about the shape, texture, and mouthfeel of a madeleine cookie, there are days when I could write for ages on the smallest thing, if I feltContinue reading “Tapped Out (for the Moment)”

La Ofrenda Inadvertida

Dearest Rachel – It’s the sort of thing to only think of talking about today, on what would be the Día de Muertos if we were of the sort to commemorate that. Certain concepts only come to mind at certain times of the year, prompted by seasons or holidays, and this is definitely one ofContinue reading “La Ofrenda Inadvertida”

from Rachel: I Will Remember

Rate your memory by circling the number that most closely matches you – 1 being poor, 10 being excellent. “7” When it comes to criticism or past failures, rate your ability to remember. “8” When it comes to successes, compliments, or God’s benefits, how good is your memory? “7” What do the circled numbers inContinue reading “from Rachel: I Will Remember”

Taking A Ribbing

Dearest Rachel – On my way home from the Halloween festival at church, I stopped at several different places to pick up lunch for the boys. Some things never change; even if they’re able to agree on a place they’re both willing to eat from – and unlike the three of us, they can usuallyContinue reading “Taking A Ribbing”

Just to Let You Know…

Dearest Rachel – To a certain extent, this particular letter might seem a bit perfunctory. After all, what’s the point of commemorating something when I’ve already missed a month? It isn’t as if there’s a streak I need to keep up, nor would you hold it against me – or even be aware; I’m neverContinue reading “Just to Let You Know…”

from Rachel: The Library in Your Mind

Pour yourself a cup of coffee (ha!) and turn to Psalm 103. What did the psalmist say to his soul in verse 2? “Bless the Lord“Forget none of His benefits” What do you think makes the difference between the memories becoming friends or foes? “Which ones we dwell on, what effect they have on us,Continue reading “from Rachel: The Library in Your Mind”

Cringe

Dearest Rachel – I woke up rather a bit too early this morning; while I wanted to get an earlier start on the day because of various errands I need to take care of, five a.m. is a bit too much. But upon attaining consciousness, my mind started rifling through various topics to write youContinue reading “Cringe”

Filling A Need

Dearest Rachel – For all the mornings I talk to you about meaningless things like my dreams from the previous night, you’d think I’d take the time now and again to fill you in on the more important things that are actually happening in and around my life. Monday nights would be a particular sourceContinue reading “Filling A Need”

Hadn’t Heard Your Voice in So Long

Dearest Rachel – Wouldn’t surprise you to know that I’ve started to forget what your voice sounded like? For all that I’ve kept your cell phone – and still continue to pay a nominal fee for it – it’s been ages since I’ve called it to hear you say how you ‘can’t come to theContinue reading “Hadn’t Heard Your Voice in So Long”

Battle Plans

Dearest Rachel – I can’t guess as to how much you still remember of your past life on this plane – especially things from so long ago (although, for all I know, you might be able to see the distant past just as well as the relatively recent, from your perspective), but I’m reminded today,Continue reading “Battle Plans”

A Message to the Newlyweds

Dearest Rachel – Believe it or not, I found myself dealing with a couple of dreams last night, both of which I thought you might as well hear about. To be sure, the first was a little more than an ironic bit of punishment visited upon some quack con man, but the whole concept behindContinue reading “A Message to the Newlyweds”

What Do I Miss?

Dearest Rachel – After the past weekend, I realize I’ve been belaboring the fact that I’ve been dealing with a torrent of utterly unsolicited text messages from a surprising number of (alleged) girls online. Please don’t feel jealous; if you were still around, you know I wouldn’t be putting myself in situations where this sortContinue reading “What Do I Miss?”

Back, But on Borrowed Time

Dearest Rachel – Look, honey, I understand that we’re all on borrowed time, from the day that we’re born. But last nights dream (okay, so it was definitely this morning’s, but you know what I’m talking about) was that much more so than usual. We all seemed so much younger than we have been inContinue reading “Back, But on Borrowed Time”

The Love of the Legend

Dearest Rachel – As much as I might complain about not meeting people on this weekend’s camping venture, I happen to know that a lot of it is my own fault. You’ve already heard about how I hadn’t felt comfortable talking to the ‘guests’ as a mere worker, but that sort of reticence applies toContinue reading “The Love of the Legend”

The Lonely Cricket

Dearest Rachel – It seems that there is a cricket that lives inside the workers’ cabin. I say that because it’s too loud to be coming from outside when I’m sitting in the cabin, trying to stay out of everybody’s way. And while one might think that the chirping is too much to be comingContinue reading “The Lonely Cricket”

…And Always Too Soon

Dearest Rachel – I’m not entirely sure why Lili von Schtupp’s solo number from Blazing Saddles is running through my head. It seems that both of my letters today are inspired by one song or another (not that this one is at all relevant to the situation at hand). It’s probably due to the factContinue reading “…And Always Too Soon”

Your Big Brother is Dying

Dearest Rachel – There were a lot of factors I could point to that conspired to present last night’s dream. There’s been all the work that’s been done her at our house, and the issues involved with navigating around everything while it’s been worked on. Hand in glove with that is the current issue withContinue reading “Your Big Brother is Dying”

The Modesty of a Child

Dearest Rachel – It’s something of a shame, but it sometimes seems that it requires a special occasion for the family to get together at a restaurant after church these days, when that used to be a weekly tradition. Then again, this is the second week in a row that we’ve been able to doContinue reading “The Modesty of a Child”

Fresh Squeezed

Dearest Rachel – While we were at the folks’ place for dinner on Thursday, I mentioned about how I needed to do some grocery shopping on our way home (granted, Meijer isn’t exactly ‘on our way,’ but we would be out and about, so it seemed like something worth taking care of before we gotContinue reading “Fresh Squeezed”

More Memories of Hugs

Dearest Rachel – After telling you about Daniel and his efforts to carry on your legacy of embracing others for various worthy reasons, I had other thoughts and memories on the subject, but decided that they merit a separate letter, so as not to distract from the good he was and is doing in followingContinue reading “More Memories of Hugs”

It’s Not Them…

Dearest Rachel – “It’s not you, it’s me.” It’s amazing to realize you never heard those words directed at you, but I know it to be true. You never dated anyone – indeed, you never considered dating (although you admitted to having a handful of childhood crushes back in the day) – until I cameContinue reading “It’s Not Them…”

I Remember This Time

Dearest Rachel – I’m not sure how it happened that last month I forgot about it – maybe it’s because I was dealing with unforeseen circumstances, maybe it’s because I didn’t have as much time to write as I do this month – but it certainly isn’t happening today. It has now been eighteen monthsContinue reading “I Remember This Time”

Oh, The Places You’d Gone!

Dearest Rachel – Earlier last week, I swapped out the quilt I’d been using on our bed for the last few months, since the rest of them arrived just in time for Daniel’s birthday (which was particularly fortuitous, since his quilt was among those returned by the company assembling them) – not to mention theContinue reading “Oh, The Places You’d Gone!”

Out With the Old

Dearest Rachel – Thanks to the drive down to Nashville and back, I’ve discovered that my iPhone contains a number of songs that I wasn’t really even aware of. When the two of us are listening to them on an infinite random shuffle, it’s interesting to hear something where one of us would comment howContinue reading “Out With the Old”

The Scent of Paint

Dearest Rachel – After two straight days in which the painters have been working past five – in fact, to nearly six – in the evening, it was strange to come home from the ‘office’ this afternoon to an empty house. Guess they considered their work to be finished; no sense staying past that pointContinue reading “The Scent of Paint”

I Wish I Had Taken More Pictures

Dearest Rachel – So, last night we met the girls for dinner. I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit of a fire drill; not gonna specify, either, because I’m not sure which nationality applies here – Chinese, Bavarian, or some other – and regardless, it’d probably be racist, or at least ethnist, to doContinue reading “I Wish I Had Taken More Pictures”

Have You Seen Him?

Dearest Rachel – You probably remember how, with every year end, I would make a habit of picking up the year-end wrapup from Life magazine (and later, after that one folded, Time magazine), covering ‘the year in pictures.’ Some of them may have been thrown out in the course of the purge, but I thinkContinue reading “Have You Seen Him?”

Keep Me Warm ’Til Then

Dearest Rachel – So, I was going to tell you about this yesterday, but I got distracted by the events of the day. Somehow, Resurrection Sunday seemed more important to talk about than my latest acquisition. I think you’d be fine with the delay. Besides, I’d gotten the notice from UPS on Friday that itContinue reading “Keep Me Warm ’Til Then”

Some Days Are Just Like That

Dearest Rachel – Way back in the early 90s, when we were still able to – and inclined to – go out to the movies, there were a number of films that stuck with us, however average and unremarkable they might have been in retrospect. One of them was a film called Mermaids, which featuredContinue reading “Some Days Are Just Like That”

A Private Balcony

Dearest Rachel – I know it was a long time ago, but I’m pretty sure you remember our first cruise. When the folks took us to Alaska, it was a really big deal, even though we had interior staterooms. You had to bring a nightlight for Daniel’s sake, because once the door was closed andContinue reading “A Private Balcony”

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”

Memories of Bananas Foster

Dearest Rachel – There are so many things about this trip that seem to be reminding me of our honeymoon trip; maybe it’s just that I’m keeping track for once in my life. Before now, I might have a flash of remembrance – I might even mention it to you at the moment – butContinue reading “Memories of Bananas Foster”

A Perfect Day?

Dearest Rachel – Do you remember this place, honey? Well, I’m back here. Hadn’t actually planned to be – originally, the itinerary had us docking in Nassau today, but some of the passengers were sent an incorrect itinerary, and the cruise line discovered (not sure how, as I don’t recall being asked one way orContinue reading “A Perfect Day?”

The Finnish Reindeer Coat

Dearest Rachel – The other day, I saw Mom getting a few old coats out of the cedar closet in their basement (from the room under what used to be my own, back when I was growing up). Admittedly, I didn’t think much of it, but took the moment to fill her in on theContinue reading “The Finnish Reindeer Coat”

One Last Laundry

Dearest Rachel – They’ve been sitting around in the folks’ basement, and I’ve been meaning to do something about it them for some time. But every time I think about it, I’m away from my computer, and by the time I come back to the computer, it’s completely slipped my mind all over again. ButContinue reading “One Last Laundry”

The Mockery of Billboards

Dearest Rachel – I forget if I read much of his stuff before you were a part of my life – I don’t think you introduced me to his work – but you seemed to have an affinity toward the poetry of Ogden Nash. His series on ‘Animals’ was one you favored, but the mostContinue reading “The Mockery of Billboards”

A Question of Timing

Dearest Rachel – So often in life, things turn on a matter of timing. We are in the middle of the Olympics at the moment – not that anyone’s watching, as it seems to have been determined that neither China nor those that kowtow to it are worthy of support – where the difference betweenContinue reading “A Question of Timing”

Not Just ‘Someone Else’s Car’

Dearest Rachel – I want to start this letter off by saying there’s nothing more uncomfortable than driving someone else’s car, but that’s not exactly true. I suspect that, given enough time, and pointed where all of the necessary (and some of the extraneous ones, like the sound system) controls are, I can get usedContinue reading “Not Just ‘Someone Else’s Car’”

Guess He Needed Another Hug

Dearest Rachel – Long ago, in my late teens or early twenties, I came to the conclusion that suicide was essentially a very selfish act. Those who did so, did so without taking into account how others would react to it. Each of us has an effect on the lives of others, and to cutContinue reading “Guess He Needed Another Hug”

Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part three)

Dearest Rachel – I hadn’t anticipated writing a third part to this, but the way certain parts of my life have come full circle – and so many all at once – it’s a wonder I don’t get dizzy. The folks even pointed it out to me as they extended the invite last night. EvenContinue reading “Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part three)”

from Rachel: Shaped for Serving God

Question to consider: In what way could I see myself passionately serving others and loving it? “5/19 “I doubt I could feel any more passionate while serving others than when I sing in choir, especially with certain songs. I also feel a genuine love of the job in the two PTA tasks I do atContinue reading “from Rachel: Shaped for Serving God”

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 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)”

Good Charlotte

Dearest Rachel – It would seem that our resident spider is back again, or perhaps her progeny. I don’t always – or even often – see her there, but she’s something of a fixture in the master bathroom. We have occasionally seen spiders there throughout the time we’ve owned this house. Why the master bathroom,Continue reading “Good Charlotte”

Muscle Massage Memories

Dearest Rachel – The late Betty White (don’t know if you’ve seen her up there, or if you could find her. While I’d admit that Rose had that ‘faith of a child,’ similar to how your mom was during her last few years, I’d wager that Sue Ellen wouldn’t be remotely interested in religion; andContinue reading “Muscle Massage Memories”

Pictures of Better Days

Dearest Rachel – Sometimes, I don’t know how my folks deal with it. Now, I have photos of you throughout the house; it’s a result of finding them in the process of cleaning the place out (not to mention cleaning off places for them to sit). That should be understandable; in fact, what would beContinue reading “Pictures of Better Days”

The Twelfth Pain

Dearest Rachel – I remember your calling me at some point while I was at the ‘office’ last year on this day. “Do you know what’s going on in Washington?” To be sure, I was keeping up with the news feed, but there’s always a lag between the activity and the written word describing it;Continue reading “The Twelfth Pain”

Nothing Worth Celebrating

Dearest Rachel – Well, 2021 is finally over with, and good riddance to bad rubbish. I can’t imagine how a year could have been worse than this. Now, I’ve been admonished not to phrase my observation so, because it’s like tempting fate. Asking “how could things get worse?” is a surefire way to actually findContinue reading “Nothing Worth Celebrating”

A Cinnamon Roll for Christmas Eve

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned yesterday about picking up a little more than dinner at the mall the other night. And yes, it made the whole trip there that much longer, what with there being a line there every bit as long as each other place I stopped (including twice at the pretzel shop, asContinue reading “A Cinnamon Roll for Christmas Eve”

Getting Malled

Dearest Rachel – I suppose it serves me right for trying to play Postmate for Daniel and myself. You’d probably have compared my little excursion last night with the time we were on our way to choir practice before the service, and I decided to stop in at a place we rarely bothered to visit;Continue reading “Getting Malled”

Eleven Months Home

Dearest Rachel – I had to save the most painful secular song for today, since it’s been eleven months since the accident. You didn’t think I’d forget what the twenty-third of the month was so soon, did you? It’s hard to think about it that way, since none of us on this since think ofContinue reading “Eleven Months Home”

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”

Three Hundred Days

Dearest Rachel – Upon sending you my last letter, about the man yelling at the intercom outside the police headquarters, I received a ping from the WordPress application. In some ways it wasn’t much different from those that I get every day, complete with the standard ‘keep up the good work’ encouragement. But today wasContinue reading “Three Hundred Days”

Knocking About the City

Dearest Rachel – I had every intention of knocking about the city this afternoon; it’s part of the reason why I arrived early enough to stay the night. I want to look around town, see what Basel has to offer. But with this head cold that I’m dealing with, I feel like I could justContinue reading “Knocking About the City”

The Fear of False Positives

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned to you in a few other earlier letters about how I’m trying not to get too excited about my upcoming trip. For one, although it takes me to a lot of places I’ve never been to, I’m doing this completely on my own, and I can’t say I’m really lookingContinue reading “The Fear of False Positives”

from Rachel: Restoring Broken Fellowship

Question to consider: Who do I need to restore a broken relationship with today? “May 11 “Today, no one (as far as I am aware, anyway). “Tomorrow, next week, or next month – Sally – definitely my EGR (extra grace required) friend, but praise God, his grace is sufficient for me: plenty left to share.Continue reading “from Rachel: Restoring Broken Fellowship”

Triple Feature

Dearest Rachel – It was so good to see you last night, and so many times, and through so much. If only I could convince anybody that you were there. Everything started off with a rather kinetic, video game feel to it. You and I were trying to get through a maze, and sort ofContinue reading “Triple Feature”

Words, Words, Words

Lord Polonius: What do you read, my lord?Hamlet: Words, words, words. Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2 Words, words, words!I’m so sick of words!I get words all day throughFirst from him, now from youIs that all you blighters can do?! Eliza Doolittle, “Show Me.” from My Fair Lady, (1956) Dearest Rachel – As a matter ofContinue reading “Words, Words, Words”

At the Scene

Dearest Rachel – From the very first moment this trip was planned, where the team would run from church to camp, I had no idea whether I would be able to stand here. Once I was here, however, it seemed inappropriate for me not to come here. There’s no indication from the way things lookContinue reading “At the Scene”

Seeking Donations

Dearest Rachel – Even with Caller ID, I can’t help it. I was raised to answer the phone when it rang, regardless of who it was. That robotic voice can say ‘potential spam’ all she likes, I’m still going to pick up the phone, and find out what it is they want. To be sure,Continue reading “Seeking Donations”

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?”

“With,” Not “To”

Dearest Rachel – When we were ‘courting,’ for lack of a better term (it wasn’t quite dating, when you were at college and I was working some 150 miles away), we would send music back and forth to each other. It was a way of keeping in touch, sending each other messages that some lyricistContinue reading ““With,” Not “To””

Adhesiveness in Anytown

Dearest Rachel – Last night, after a few hours of gaming with Kevin, I found myself in conversation with another individual on the dating app. She’d sent me a smile, and while I generally tend to limit my connections to those residing here in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, I couldn’t quite figure out whereContinue reading “Adhesiveness in Anytown”

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”

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”

Costumes

Dearest Rachel – There are so many things to say on this Halloween; so many memories to call up. It was a Halloween I am which I first sat with you in the cafeteria at breakfast, decked out as a denim clad mime, but unable to keep silent. Since I’d made up my face toContinue reading “Costumes”

Love & Marriage

Dearest Rachel – Happy Sweetest Day, honey. It’s weird; we never observed this holiday together. We considered ourselves fortunate enough to remember Valentine’s Day and our anniversary for each other. So why am I bothering now, seeing as I don’t have any sweetest to make a day out of this? Well, since the anniversary ofContinue reading “Love & Marriage”

Twilight Memories

Dearest Rachel – The nights are getting longer; well, they’ve been getting longer since Daniel’s birthday nearly four months ago. But now that we’ve passed the vernal equinox, and the hours of darkness exceed those of light, it becomes that much more obvious… and painful. October, even out here on the internet, is a monthContinue reading “Twilight Memories”

Hurry Up and Wait

Dearest Rachel – Sometimes, the stories that I have planned to tell you have to be set aside. Not everything is urgent; not everything is time-sensitive. But sometimes, things come up. And that basically sums up today. So any story having to do with the dating app will need to wait for another day. IContinue reading “Hurry Up and Wait”

Woefully Unprepared

Dearest Rachel – I imagine that this a sensation you were quite familiar with in your day; I woke up this morning realizing I haven’t done my homework for a long time – well, at least for this week. And as a result, I’m going to show up at the Bible study woefully unprepared forContinue reading “Woefully Unprepared”

Public Cake

Dearest Rachel – Let me start out by saying that this is not a love story. And I feel like I should be apologizing for that. This whole collection of letters to you were supposed to be an outpouring of love and reminiscences about our time together and what you meant to me. And whileContinue reading “Public Cake”

Going Buy-Buy

Dearest Rachel – I let the first of the month get past me, but I was otherwise occupied with a houseguest, after all. Indeed, it wasn’t until last Thursday that I realized I had missed my Monday appointment at the mechanics for your car. Oh well, we can try again later this week, I guess.Continue reading “Going Buy-Buy”

You Can Put Away Your Sunscreen

Dearest Rachel – Well, another season has come and gone. Summer is officially over. Amazing to realize that the passage of time is not an arbitrary concept, but there are physical conditions that we can observe here on earth; day and night, and the length of each defining the season of the year, even ifContinue reading “You Can Put Away Your Sunscreen”

Qualified to Suffer

Dearest Rachel – It seems like a very long time ago since I last felt this way, but there was a time when I thought life was good… too good. We were happy together, both as a couple and as a family. We had plans to enjoy this or that, and whatever problems we wereContinue reading “Qualified to Suffer”

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 Most Important Hour of My Life – On An Insignificant Day

Dearest Rachel – I feel like I should apologize for the poor quality of this video. But the tape is, after all, twenty-nine years old, and it hasn’t been played in maybe ten, fifteen years; it can’t be expected to hold up all that well for all that time, especially on such an outdated andContinue reading “The Most Important Hour of My Life – On An Insignificant Day”

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”

Grateful

Dearest Rachel – You’ll remember that, on thanksgivings at the folks’ place, we would offer a handful of things we were thankful for during the year. Well, it seems that Luke has assigned as homework along those sort of lines; before we roll out of bed in the morning, we are to come up withContinue reading “Grateful”

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”

Thousands of Hours to Go

Dearest Rachel – I went through three VCRs trying to figure out what was going wrong. It turned out that the reason there was no adequate picture was because I shouldn’t have plugged the connection in all the way. I think I’m gonna have to go back and explain this to you. Let me justContinue reading “Thousands of Hours to Go”

The Day You Said ‘Yes’

Dearest Rachel – It’s hard to remember sometimes, but there was a time when the idea of ‘us’ wasn’t a foregone conclusion. On the other hand, as of this day, thirty years ago, it was, for all intents and purposes. It was but a question of when. After all, you had spent time with usContinue reading “The Day You Said ‘Yes’”

Leave Behind a Morsel

Dearest Rachel – Back in the 70s and 80s, my great aunt Belva participated in a ministry for international students attending Northwestern; inviting them over for a home-cooked meal, introducing them to our church community, that sort of thing. She had a great knack for keeping in touch with ‘her students’ after they graduated andContinue reading “Leave Behind a Morsel”

The Day of Surgery

Ten years and five months to the day before the accident… 9:35 a.m. I’m writing everyone from Lutheran General Hospital. Rachel was wheeled into surgery just over an hour ago (at 8:30 a.m. – about an hour later than originally scheduled). As most of you know, they’re going to be removing a tumor that’s wedgedContinue reading “The Day of Surgery”