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in maybe ten, fifteen years; it can’t be expected to hold up all that well for all that time, especially on such an outdated andContinue reading “The Most Important Hour of My Life – On An Insignificant Day”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”

Music For Staring at the Axe

Dearest Rachel – Eleven years ago tomorrow, you went in for surgery to remove a tumor from your brain. At the time, we didn’t know what was going to happen to you; the fact that it was not within the brain was a relatively good sign, and the doctor was fairly certain it would turnContinue reading “Music For Staring at the Axe”

from Rachel: Hi, Ellen

“Hi, “We ate lunch here yesterday, but we didn’t get to see the goats because it was raining again. We’re having a great time, in spite of cool, wet weather. “Despite a lot of thunder, we only got a little bit wet at the Renaissance fair, Saturday, but Sunday we waited three wet hours forContinue reading “from Rachel: Hi, Ellen”

Late for Dinner

Dearest Rachel – “You can call me anything you want; just don’t call me late for dinner!” It was probably one of the first jokes I was ever told by my grandfather as a little kid, and one that I never really got at that age (“what kind of name is Late For Dinner, andContinue reading “Late for Dinner”

Sleeping In Denim

Dearest Rachel – It seems there are a few memes out there about people who sleep dressed, specifically while wearing jeans… Not sure I understand what the fuss is all about. Between showering after walking home, and therefore changing afterwards (look, it’s August in Chicago – why should I stay in those sweaty clothes anyContinue reading “Sleeping In Denim”

The Things Mine Eyes Have Seen

Dearest Rachel – I never got around to telling you about this, but when we were down at Kevin’s over Memorial Day weekend, I broke down and got a copy of Minecraft. Somehow, he figured out how to set up a server, and the three of us just started digging around (in survival mode, noContinue reading “The Things Mine Eyes Have Seen”

Digital Cache

Dearest Rachel – I keep wondering when the time will come when I’ve found the last remnant of your memory. After all, everything in life is finite, and you were here for only a limited amount of time. Surely at some point, I will run out of photographs to ruminate over, music or other recordingsContinue reading “Digital Cache”

Waiting for a Table

Dearest Rachel – Since I woke up this morning with little to no memory of last nights dream (which, come to think of it, is more how things used to be when you and I were together nights), I figure I might as well instead relate the events of last evening to you as partContinue reading “Waiting for a Table”

Hide And Seek as a Contact Sport

Dearest Rachel – This is gonna be one of the more elaborate dreams that I’ve dealt with in a long time, and I don’t have a lot of time to put it together before it evaporates on me. Besides, that we’re coming after me shortly. It’s taking place on the Wesleyan campus as we rememberContinue reading “Hide And Seek as a Contact Sport”

Il Faut Manger

Dearest Rachel – This letter is running concurrent with the previous one, because there are that many impossible things to do at the moment. All I’m doing at this point is waiting for the marketplace to open, and then I’ll be going to breakfast. ‘One must eat,’ after all… The contrast between last night andContinue reading “Il Faut Manger”

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”

A Pallet of Pop

Dearest Rachel – You know, I’m a trip to the supermarket really shouldn’t wreck me, especially not after all this time. And yet, here we are from time to time. The thing is, I almost never went to Meier on my own. While I’m sure you went by yourself more often than not, I almostContinue reading “A Pallet of Pop”