Sadness and grief, letters and memories

45561BED-F745-42C5-B2FA-8AC9EFC7001FI didn’t intend to post a blog today. Or tomorrow, or perhaps, for even another week, for after all: my self-imposed-inside-my-brain-write-every-two-weeks-blog was already posted. But I’m feeling sad. I can’t work. I can’t do any of the other chores calling my name. I can only write.

Sadness fills all of us some days – and some of us all days. Today, I’m sad about the loss of life of students and teachers, in a horribly senseless and preventable tragedy. I ache for their families and friends and for all the children and teens who enter buildings outside of their homes every day and face a worry that was mostly unknown to people my age. I finished Brian Doyle’s remarkable book, Children and Other Wild Animals: Brian, the ultimate master of prose and nature and kindness and humor. I laughed out loud and I cried as well – to imagine this lasting legacy from a writer who alone filled his unique author category, who left this earth too early.  Who I didn’t personally know, but miss – for who he was, for his family, for what other magnificent works he may have written. Today, I read a blog from another writer who’s had a tough year and who shared a story about new connections with an elderly parent, reminding me of my own morning spent today with my mom, hugely magnifying a picture of Brigadoon’s “Tommy and Fiona” gathering heather, while I cranked up the volume of my i-phone, held to her ear, blaring “The Heather on the Hills,” to which she issued a sad wisecrack about the “jerk” (Dad)  leaving her early,  forcing her to listen to their favorite music without him. Spurring me to think about letters, my packet of “Dad’s letters.”  I’m thankful Dad had a long life and died before he succumbed to a state he would never have wanted to be in. But I miss him. And while I have uncovered a few copies of letters Dad wrote to others, that were new to me…… I miss not receiving any new letters from Dad. I probably could predict what they might say – predictable he was in his letter writing. Still. Nothing else like them.

I look out my window into the gray sogginess of a cold Willamette Valley February Day. I send tears and strength to those suffering through this week’s losses —- I pray that we can lasso memories of those we love to stay within our hearts —- and I yearn for strength and will to bolster us, somehow, some way, together to further kindness in a just world.

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