The Away Letters: Finding a way

When he left for the trip he never returned from, we began writing letters to each other. Despite the fact that we also talked on the phone every night, we wanted to have the letters as a reminder of these times. Neither of us ever knew that he'd not make it back from that first flying contract. Neither of us knew we would only exchange three away letters between us before the accident happened. But I’ve been writing to him still, for the past two years, all along. Most of the time in my journal. But every now and again, I share them...

"Today was one of those days I really wished you were here for all number of reasons. Around noon, I realized suddenly that I had completely forgotten about the deadline for an art show I was entering. I rushed to get my three photos matted and framed, shoved them in the back seat of your truck, and took off to New Braunfels. I got them there in time. I did. In fact with an hour to spare. But I was so beside myself by the fact that I had been planning to get this done today for days in advance and then somehow, as I woke up in the morning it was completely wiped from my memory. It reminded me of how my mind still doesn’t work as well as it used to when you were alive and around. It’s so frustrating. I never know when or what I will forget. And it reminded me how – if you were here – you would have remembered for me just in case. You always held me accountable like that, and always cared enough to make note of the important things in my life. I really miss that, you know. I do.

The other big thing about today was that it was the last day to hear back from the Badlands National Park about the artist residency I applied for. And I heard no word back. I was so very hopeful and have waited almost two months now to hear about this opportunity. It’s been such a long time to wait in anticipation. I know you would understand, because you know it’s been a dream of mine for many years to work in one of the parks. I hate that you aren’t here today – for either side of the outcome. I hate that you aren’t here to congratulate me had it happened… and I really hate that you aren’t here to make me feel better about not getting accepted. I know you, and you’d have taken me out for a nice dinner either way – rejected or accepted – to celebrate me. To make me feel special, and to remind me to just keep trying and never give up.

No one else in my life even realizes what a hard day it has been to not hear back about this opportunity. Most of them don’t even know today was an important date for me to begin with… because they aren’t part of the “us” that was you and I. I don’t hold that against anyone, it isn’t their job to remember all these things. It was our job to remember them about each other. It’s just really hard not having you here sometimes to pick me up the way you always did so well. I keep trying, and I keep pushing and I keep living. But it's really hard not being part of a team anymore like we were.

On my drive home, I tried to think of what I could do since you aren’t here. How I could make myself feel special tonight. I didn’t very well want to go out to a fancy dinner alone! So instead, I bought myself flowers at the store, and some sushi, and okay… I admit it, my own personal and delicious piece of cookie cake. Because who can be upset when you are stuffing your face with cookie cake right? And even if I do sit and cry all over it… well, at least I am freaking eating cookie cake! I can feel you smiling already. Patting me on the back a bit, for finding some way through it "like you always do" you'd say. I tell ya, it’s sure not easy without you. But somehow, I find a way. "

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