Friday, December 27, 2013

1998 - A letter to Mom, a year after Dad Died

Next in the continuing effort to consolidate all my memories into one location, comes a better year for my family - 1998

The first letter was written in February, a year after my Dad died, just to my Mom and younger brother Lance

Dear Mom,

It was wonderful to hear from you again.  I keep thinking about you and hoping that you are having some good moments too.  I imagine that having to keep going for Lance can be both a blessing and a trial .  How is he doing?  We had an OK talk on the phone but it is hard to see how a person is doing from just the phone.

Thank you for the Valentines and the package. We all felt very spoiled.  The boys get so excited every time that a package comes in the mail.

I still miss Dad and figure I always will but sometimes that makes me stretch and do more than I would otherwise.  I play more with my boys, games that I know their grandfather would have played, because he can't be there to do it.  I take them fishing and pitch baseballs when I'd rather be curled up in a blanket by the wood stove feeling sorry for myself.  I've gotten back into doing my writing because this brush with mortality has reminded me that if I keep saying I'm going to do this later, later may never come.  I have examined my own faith and beliefs because they were all seriously tested and find that, while I don't have a lot of answers, it is easier for me to believe in  caring power behind everything than to believe that ll this pain and beauty is a random occurrence in a void.  Albert Einstein said, "There are only two ways to live this life.  One is as if nothing was a MIRACLE and the second is as if everything is."

Like I said, I don't have a lot of answers, part of me died with my Father as I watched him shrink and suffer and couldn't accept that there could be any reason why someone so wonderful should have so much pain.  But part of me has been forced to bro up too, to stop being Daddy's little girl and deal with life as it is instead of how I wish it was.  Being a Mom doesn't allow a lot of time for self pity or depression. I have to keep looking for the good in this world so I can share that with two wonderful little boys.  And of all that is good in my world, they are the best.  I know that this year of playing at being a housewife has given me a lot of respect for you.  It's hard work without ever getting a coffee break or day off.  So much of the house work is undone as I'm finishing up.  I don't even really know how to be a housekeeper but I'm pretty darn good at being a home-maker and I learned that from you.  I love you so much.
Has the weird weather been touching you?  We have actually had a warmer winter.  Lots of rain here, but January and February here always have a lot of rain.  The only snow we've seen was on our trip back to Wyoming at Christmas and even that was perfect, enough for the snowmen, snow Angels, snowballs and Sledding and very little on the roads.  In fact, this year the boys traveled so well and the roads were so clear that the days of driving were as much fun as the days visiting our families.  We enjoyed showing the boys the scenery and talking to each other.
This is 
the first year that I have ever been sorry to see the end of the first semester of school.  Usually I love see in the year be half over but this year I am sorry because I think of all the goals that I have had for this year off.  I'm working on all of them and even making progress, but not, of course as fast as I had hoped.  I have started taking the kids hiking and fishing. We do go to the beach and redwoods. I do more housework. I have sent off some stories to magazines and I have written so kids books, and I am working on the kids reading and writing skills, shoe tying, bike riding, addition and subtraction.  And it is rewarding and I love it.  So why am I frustrated?  It's hard making it on one income and I am not ready for Austin to start school and me to start back.  Dumb huh?  I should be enjoying the present instead of dreading September but a lot has happened in the past year to convince me that February ti September is short and 34 to ANCIENT isn't much longer.  I guess it's that so called biological clock, ticking and telling me I have to work harder, do more, so I don't end up an old lady who once had a good idea.  I've always believed I had the potential to be a good writer but I know potential has shelf life.

Am I being too maudlin?  Sure, I am.  OK. So what has been great for us? The trip back to Wyoming for sure.  It was great to see the entire families of both of us.  That is a far too rare occurrence and one I hope the Goode family truly cherished as the Miller family has already lost the opportunity to ever again have an entire family reunion.  I don't know how many times we can get the whole Goode clan together, but in the end I know we'll wish there had been more times.

Goodness, I'm starting to suspect that this is one of those letters that I just won't be able to mil.  If I keep going this way I'll know it is too depressing to inflict upon anyone.  So, time for an attitude adjustment. Happy Valentine's Day.

The grass can't be mowed because its under an inch of water.  We have a stack of dirty dishes, so GREAT!  You know we have plenty of food. There are toys ankle deep all over the houses you know there are children here, and when I'm sad that is the one thought which always ends it.  I never would trade one day with money and a floor I could actually walk on for even the worst, both of them screaming day.

We're going to enjoy our second three day weekend in a row.  Del Norte County schools love those February presidents.  It had been nice to have Greg around one extra day.  That way we can do one day of housework, one of kids, and actually sneak in a couple hours with a babysitter and a movie.  BIG NEWS FLASH.  There are still movies which are not animated!

Greg is going to take next year off to be home with the boys.  If it is granted then he might actually take it as a sabbatical and get 2/3 of his pay in exchange for promising to work here the three following years. Then he would also have to have a goal such as taking classes or forming a singing drop.  He's going to take it, like I did, as parenting leave if he isn't one of the five district teachers given a sabbatical. So keep your fingers crossed for us.  Even without the van and daycare payments we could use the extra money.  This year each month we end up a couple hundred deeper in debt.  Anyway, it's been worth it to see the kids so secure and actually able to stay home and be kids instead of getting up before the sun each day to go to daycare.

OK, I promised myself I'd get this letter written and I guess I'll mail it. Forgive the moodiness, blame it on living in a solar free zone.

Lots of Love,


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