Wednesday, December 31, 2008

An Old Letter….

Cleaning up my study today, I found some old letters. Letters, the essence of remembrance:

Dear Little Blue Eyes,

I remember the first time I saw you, your passion hasn’t changed. How the nurses tried and tried to get you to take your bottle, and how I finally taught you to suckle.

Night after night I would get up at three and take you to your mother, I even learned to do that “dastardly diaper” thing. As you grew, your determination seemed so out of place in such a little girl body, with big blue eyes and cascading tendrils of curly hair.

It seems like yesterday when the three of us walked on misty summer mornings, through the graveyard and across that ancient bridge that spanned our lazy river. Remember how we would always stop by the pastry shop in that little polish village before the farmers market?

Please tell me that you loved your not so little playhouse. The one with desk and closets and table and chairs and loft and balcony and stain glass windows… and how a thousand pieces of glass cast their dispersions in the afternoon sun as the two of you were dressing up and pretending, or just having fun.

I am sure you remember that special summer with you, your sister, the neighbor kids, and Peepers. How you all ran round and round the house and just wouldn’t wait for that little short-legged fellow.

Remember that wonderful midnight on grandpa’s farm as we glided across fragrant fields of new mown hay? Do you remember the phosphorescent glow of that multitude of fireflies so bright they eclipsed the stars that moon lit summer night?

I can’t help but reminisce about your first day of school, and about oak trees that changed to every conceivable hue. About towering heaps of fragrant autumn leaves and how you would hide and romp and roll among them and how they would dangle, adorning your auburn hair.

But one melancholy day we walked from room to “empty echoing” room. You took one final backward glance to where the “big beautiful white swan” once alighted upon you bed. And as we all loaded into the van, right in front of us the all so familiar but solitary swing remained. And as we drove away, we each realized that some things would just have to stay.

It’s been four years now and you have made me so proud. You are taller and more beautiful than before, but in a different way. And you always seem to know just what to say. But something else is different; it’s so hard to explain.

When you were little, there was for a time a nest just outside our window. At first, two robin-blue eggs, then two naked and helpless bobbing heads. Mother and father continually flew back and forth bearing food. So quickly they grew. And then one day the first feathered fledgling ventured to nest edge. On the next, to the furthest branch, and on the third day she flew. But just under her, father gently nudging her away from the cat-patrolled ground, and just a wing span ahead, mother leading the way to the safest branch of a familiar tree. The second fledgling in similar fashion soon followed. Then day after day we would watch as they lingered and learned and became indistinguishable from their parents... and then they were gone.

Your daddy for just a little bit longer

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