Your dad has retired from his job. He seems to be content with the choice. He could have worked longer. He could be like some men I know who identify so closely with their job that leaving it is like leaving a part of themselves. Surprisingly it is not so for him.
He works in the yard as much if not more than he ever did. We have the chickens and he dotes on them. He is getting bee hives soon and I hope they are successful. We worry about bees because of environmental concerns. The solar panels will soon be a year old and they have provided well for us. We talk about travel but never make plans.
Ms. Ebbie died. Do you know that? She had a great day playing with Newman. I actually did a video of her that day because she was so playful. She lay down that night in one of her usual spots and when we went to get her to go to bed we found that she had died. She would have been 16 on Tuesday.
Daddy buried her up on the hill with Kaycee, Sonny, Honey and Cocoa. I made a new marker that hangs up there now and catches the morning sun reflecting it into the kitchen. The boys seemed confused by her absence at first but now seem to have adapted and maybe it is my imagination but somehow they seem more close.
We have a hard time venturing far from home. It settles on us sometimes like some sort of apathy or maybe it is fear. Maybe we are just weary. Making plans; especially elaborate plans makes me feel weary. This has been a weary year thus far.
The presidential election has not helped the feeling of weariness. It began with dread that now has merged into a daily need to walk to the train track where our country is speeding along and see what is going to crash. I am loath to say it because in some ways I would like to get your opinion but in other ways it is probably better that you not know.
I am sure there are people who have been my friends who view me differently now. I am vocal (and I know that does not surprise you). I try but probably do not succeed in not being vitriolic.
The problems that you expressed concerns about six years ago have only gotten worse. Everything you observed and I so hoped you were wrong about has proved to be correct. The world could use more wisdom and insight like yours and we just don’t have it.
We miss you. Your dad and sister and I miss you. The reminders have not ceased, the situations in which we find ourselves when we are so aware of your absence have not decreased. I have accepted the fact that each day I will look for you and often find something of you somewhere. Maybe that is why it is hard to plan a way to leave home for any length of time.
Yet I know that if we were to travel we would find you there too.
I know I am not going to fix the situation our country is in. I feel like it is important to be involved because of you and your sister and your dad. It is important to me to be a part of any solution that I can – whatever that might mean. I feel like I must honor all of you- my family- however I can with the days of my life.
I can’t retire from being a mother. And though your dad can retire from public work neither can he retire from being a dad, nor your sister- your sister. That has been driven home to me.
At night I pray and sometimes it is only to repeat the Lord’s prayer because all other words fail me. I ask for healing yet people die. I ask for peace yet wars rage. I ask for equality yet misogyny, prejudice and discrimination reign. I recognize that I am having to deal with my misunderstanding of God and my own sad acceptance of mankind as broken. I wish you could weigh in here.
There are so many words I have spoken to you as the days pass. So many thoughts that seem almost like prayer that I give up to the universe hoping they reach you. Power and control are the cruelest delusion.
Know this as you have always known. In this we are all secure.
We love you.
Always have, always will.