Holding In Light

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Hi Darling:

I am sorry you’re not feeling well. The Quakers have a practice called holding someone in the Light. For them, it’s a kind of visual prayer, in which with mind and heart you place someone dear in the Eternal’s love and illuminating presence.

I’m doing this for you. I picture you being bathed in a warm, restorative light. Your body moves freely in this sparkle and spirit and in my heart I sense you will feel better soon. It may not happen suddenly and miraculously, but it will happen, I’m sure.

And when you rise from bed, I’ll be there to help you stand, to make you hot soup and cornbread, to run your bath, and dry and oil your back. I’ll stay with you as long as you need because I want you well again.

My, you look lovely surrounded in this celestial light, as lovely as an angel.

Loving you deeply,

C

Miles

REST IN PEACE

MILES THE CAT
October 2005 to March 2018

Miles…

Few ever live up to their namesake. But Miles, you did.

And so much more.

You were cool, suave, but never pretentious. Confidence followed in your paw steps. Maybe that’s the mark of a fine cat—or any cat—but you were far from being any cat. In all that confidence there was never an air of indifference or superiority. You defied the typical definition of what it meant to be feline. It was evident in your grace, your dignity, and your attempts at humor that always kept our attention.

You sought that attention because you knew it was yours, in a house filled with love.

We were always yours. You owned our hearts in a way few people will ever have the fortune to know. You mesmerized two little girls with your playfulness, and it is certain that your life will continue to warm the memories of their childhood for years to come.

Handsome, sleek, debonair; you were all these, and will live on in our memory as the dashing cat who could own any room he entered. It was because of one thing.

At the very center of you was your heart, overflowing with love, pronounced in your unending affections. Its beat was heavy in the rhythm of your purr. It endures as a reminder that, in our hearts, you will live forever.

H.A. Callum

Jessie

Christina~

I know you hurt, for the loss of me, the loss you feel and the grief you hold in the depths of your heart. I know. I do. I’ve felt that kind of grief. That loss. That sense of feeling like everything you know to be true has simply vanished. The pain is so great, so deep … not even comparing it to the vastness of space, or the depths of the deepest spot in the ocean, feel as if they can put words to the bigness of that loss. Your loss. I’m sorry, my darling daughter, for causing that in you.

I know such loss … and now, I am going to share it with you. Know going in, I would not ask this of you unless I had no other choice. I understand what this moment is to you, and to infringe on your moment, with my needs, goes against the mother you knew me to be.

However, I can’t be at peace unless I know you have the knowledge that I never had the words for while in life. For this letter is going to be my greatest request of you.

You know I loved your father. Noah. Oh, my dear Noah. Our life was long and beautiful. Ordinary and extraordinary. Common and yet we were the royalty of our own story. We lived and loved. We both worked and raised you kids. Oh, such joy and love, bickering and fighting all entwined in those busy, active years of our dear family. We hit the usual and yet still unique benchmarks of modern day life. We had hobbies and passions and indulged them, when we could scrounge out the time. We worked. We played. We loved. We fought. We made up. We were friends. We were everything.

Then he died.

You felt and witnessed my grief. It was as deep and real as I imagine yours feels today.

Don’t let this letter ever deflect from that.

Or change the depth of that truth.

But there was … someone before your dad. Someone who knew me. Who loved me. Who once saved me and put me back together, and then … he had to leave me.

He is the only reason we had the life we did. He was the only reason I healed, grew, and finally found a life and normalcy with your dad.

And fear not. No guilt. Your father knew all this. He knew who this was and more important, who this was to me.

Your father was insanely understanding and accepting of me. Perhaps because he knew everything I once suffered and how hard it was for me to survive and move forward.

So he let me have my first love, separate and yet equal to him. Never more than him. No. I loved two men in my life and you witnessed the one I loved the longest and best.

But there was another.

You’ve heard rumblings, whispers of my past. Of me being kidnapped, hurt, and raped.

What you didn’t hear was who rescued me.

He was a solider, and he rescued me.

But … that was only the beginning.

He saved me when no one else could, physically, mentally and emotionally. You see … because he always knew … he knew, what no one, not even your father could put words to. This man, this soldier simply knew. He understood on a visceral level what had happened to me.

He was able to help me put the scattered, jagged and humiliated pieces of me back together into the framework of the woman you would eventually know as your mother.

This soldier. He left me. He came back to me. He loved me. He could not be with me.

Then he left me for a final time. He left me because he knew I could never fully heal with him, not like I could with someone else.

Someone who wasn’t there. Who didn’t know.

This man, this soldier was also … your father.

I know it’s shocking. It hurts. I’m sorry. I would have told you sooner, but Noah didn’t want that knowledge on you. Noah considered himself your father, so there was no distinction for him.

I always understood that.

But in my heart, you were a piece of him. A piece of Will. His name was Will. You were the best pieces of Will, and I filled my days with you. The joy of my life. The delight of my heart. The breath of my soul.

But I find in my old age I can’t stand to let Will be forgotten.

You see he died in Afghanistan, during the war, before he ever knew about you. I’ve always believed he’d have come back to me—us. If only he had the chance to know about you.

But alas … life is never linear. Or fair. Or kind.

It’s brutal and brilliant. Tough and fragile.

Life is the very lesson this letter is teaching you.

I’m sorry. I’m also … not. I’m glad you were born. I’m glad you were Will’s and that I loved him.

I’m glad I raised you. I’m glad Noah helped me do so.

So you will have to live with those two halves of my truth.

Attached is the address of where Will is buried. Remember that yearly trip to the East Coast I’d make? This was why. I gave Will one day a year. I ask—all I ask in my death—is that you do the same.

And realize he, this soldier, gave me you.

The greatest gift of my life.

And he gave you the greatest gift of your life in the man who raised you. Noah.

I’m sorry for the shock. For the awe. But I’m not sorry about Will. Or Noah. Or you. You were all integral to my story, my heart, and my soul. You were what defined me and shaped me and made me live, not just survive.

Now in the death of us … continue to live for us … all of us. Me. Noah … Will.

Visit them my love, and me. Visit your father and this man who once saved me.

Because in saving me, he saved us all.

All my love~

Mom

Author: Leanne Davis

Characters from the fictional novel The Other Sister 

Dearest

August 14, 1992

Imagine my surprise when I opened your letter last week (loved the wonderful drawing of the beach!). I can’t believe you are asking me to marry you! Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t want to say “yes” or “no” without serious consideration. I promise to write again soon. Until then, you’re an intelligent and pretty girl who deserves the best in her life. (I sent you a picture of me with my greatest prized possession, my Mustang!)

Sincerely . . .

December 8, 1992

I’ve spent a long time thinking about your proposal. I spoke to many of my family members (and several of yours too) and wanted to make sure that this is something we can work out. A marriage is a life-long commitment. We both know that marriages sometimes last forever but often don’t. We can do this if you … we are willing to make it work.

I plan on traveling there in February or March where we can meet in person and finally get to know each other better. Let’s make this decision together after we get to know each other. In the meantime, we can have fun. We both like dancing, and I love your amazing singing voice. We’ll have a great time! By the way, congratulations on getting your Nursing degree. Awesome!

Sincerely . . .

January 19, 1993

Great news! I’ll be flying out of San Francisco with your sister next month! This is going to be great. Sorry to keep this short, but I’ve got a Lit exam in a few minutes. Thanks for the pic of you and your cousins. Looks like you guys were having some fun. LOVE those glasses. Ha!

See you in person soon!

April 9, 1993

The flight back was grueling but fine, as I told you on the phone. Fifteen hours on a plane ain’t easy. Can’t believe I’m actually married though! I couldn’t be happier with you and finally finding out what a wonderful person you are. We’ve got a few things to work out with getting your travel to the U.S., but believe me, you’re going to LOVE it here. I put some post cards of Yosemite (snow-capped Half Dome is my favorite) in this letter, so you can see what some of our local parks look like. Hopefully we’ll go there when you get here!

I’m looking for a temporary place to live for us. I’m working part-time while I’m finishing up my B.A. in Lit. I’m poor – even though you think I might be rich from my car pic. Ha! We’ll be ready to be a true husband and wife when you get here. Can’t tell you how much I miss you already. Hoping you miss me too.

Your HUSBAND!

July 5, 1997

I’m sorry to have to write out my feelings like this, but it’s hard for us to talk, and I do better with writing. We can’t seem to say anything to each other without yelling and screaming at each other. I hate this! We’ve been through a lot already. We’ve had a lot of fun going so many places and doing lots of things. We’re getting ourselves on our feet with you getting your promotion to RN and me getting the substitute teaching position, but it seems like no matter how good things are, we can’t seem to connect.

I need you to TRUST me, dear. I’ll finish school very soon, and I’m working! You’re the only one I want in my life. No matter who you see me with or see me talking to, I’m committed ONLY TO YOU!

Let’s work through this. I’ll try to listen to you more, I promise. I want our daughter to have both her parents in her life. PLEASE.

Love you more than you know . . . 

January 8, 2007 [e-mail]

Soooooo glad we got the move over with. Three thousand miles is a long way to go. Have to admit though, Christmas on the road is going to be something the girls will probably never forget. Did the guys show up with the washer and dryer yet? No grass in the yard. No driveway. I think the paint on the walls is still curing! Love having a newly-built place, but we’re going to have a lot of work ahead of us. Good thing I’ve got a talented, “hands-on” wife. Heh, heh. Just kidding, dear! ☺


Dearest, yes, the most dear thing to me. We have lasted nearly 25 years together. Can you believe it?! I have spent more of my life with you than I have without you. How could I go on without you? (as the song goes). I want to renew our vows – have the ceremony we never had (that I was never able to give you). The longer we are together, the easier our relationship has become. I know sometimes we still have our moments, but we’ve finally figured out to talk to each other … how to communicate. There’s no one else I’d rather spend the rest of my life with than you. Let’s get old together …

P,

Will you marry me … again?

Love Forever,

J.