Dear Richard,

You are the kindest soul I have ever known. You gave me a job twice when I really needed one and held my hand all through my father’s funeral, assuring me everything would be all right. You instilled confidence in my five-year-old daughter, making her your Hearts partner whenever we played, and gave me the day off when my dog died, understanding what an important loss of a family member it was. We cried for John together the morning Bianca died, and have buried more pets between us than anyone should have to.

Struggling to write your eulogy today, I leaf through yellowed papers with fading ink, remembering some of the things we laughed about on those drives into work … and how certain memories always made you smile. I recalled that stupid license plate game we played more years than I can count, the pantries we stocked in anticipation of the end-of-the-world apocalypse, and the spool coffee-table business that was going to turn us into millionaires! Such humiliation when the peanut gallery wet themselves laughing. I thought about the time I accidentally knocked you out with two Miltown tablets instead of Excedrin, and how all you said was, “Don’t worry about it. At least you got rid of my headache.”

You, Richard Miller, introduced me to so much, my first computer, now the first of many, and so many treasured friendships I never would have known if not for you. All those trips to Vegas with John, Dale and Hank … where we once pretended to be married to get a free breakfast from a land promotional company—who made us sit through a boring three-hour business spiel. In the end, I guess the joke was on us? One year, you took me to the most beautiful secretary’s lunch at Musso and Frank, where we ended up meeting Buffy Sainte Marie. You graciously faked being as big a fan as I when you saw my excitement at meeting one of my childhood idols. “That was who again?” You asked when we left. One of the things I have most admired about you through the years is your simple grace and aplomb … the way you always sidestep any obstacle with elegance and dignity.

Through a blur of tears, I see your warm smile and those untold stories just behind your eyes. Knowing I will never hear another or receive another bone-crushing hug is too much to bear. Selfishly, I’ve been thinking how much I already miss you and wish you were here like the old days … wish you were here to help me get through this. I don’t know what I imagine you would say? Just something witty and wry—something that would whisper through the trees, “It’s all right … I’m here.”

Love always,

Reveries and Buttercups

“The sun shines not on us but in us.” – John Muir

Dear Emma,

Today marks the astronomical start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. With the longest daylight hours upon us, I search inwardly for light. For you see, bright memories of you live within my heart and occupy my mind. I am most alive when I revert to the time and place when you walked among the living. Lost in my reveries, I always find my way to you.

You are teaching me how to connect the dots and make constellations out of my solitude. Connections to you come through the song of a sparrow, a gentle summer rain, a field of buttercups. When your shape radiates through nature, I can almost reach over, take your hand and walk with you once again.

You shine within me,

Myles and Mae: One

Dear Myles,

After months of admiring each other’s avatars, ‘liking’ and making flirtatious comments on photos, videos, quotes and song posts, we advanced to countless message chats. Now, here I am writing you a …

Dare I say it?

Yes, I dare!

I’m writing you a love letter.

I know, I know. Technically, it’s a love e-letter. But it feels old-fashioned, like a formal declaration of my affection. There’s no denying my enchantment with you. We shared an intense connection the moment we ‘met’ online. I didn’t need to meet you in person to know we’re kindred spirits. You’ve been a light in my life, like a sunbeam finding its way to me through the forest.

You intrigue me like no one ever has. I crave to learn everything about you. I want to know what makes you tick. May these letters between us unravel and reveal our hopes, dreams, secrets and desires. I’ll let you in on one of my desires. I have an intense longing to see you in the flesh. Until that day comes, let us not underestimate the power of the written word.

In 1913, Nathaniel C. Fowler, Jr. wrote: “It is impossible to overestimate or to exaggerate the importance of the letter and the writing of a letter. The letter plays a second part only to conversation and to personal contact.”

Despite the miles between us, my dear Myles, I find myself devoted to you and to letting our letters become the beating pulse that will join us as one.

Are you ready for the story of Myles and Mae to develop and unfold?

Until next time,