It's almost two months since you passed away. I think of you every day. I've been kicking around the idea for this blog for a bit now, and I guess I'm finally ready to start it. I'm lifting a cold beer in your memory as I start this journey--love you miss you!
Since we're talking about beer, I'll let that be a starting point.
Stealing sips of beer from your tall, triangular pilsner glass on long, hot Yuma evenings when we lived on Kathleen Avenue. We used to play outside until late, and you would come outside and sit on the curving curbs with the neighbors (Proudfeet?)and chat while we kids tore all over the neighborhood. I guess I never disliked that sharp flavor.
You taking charge and making it all better when I fell off of somebody's back during a piggyback ride. I cracked my face on a brick and wound up with a terrific shiner.
Same when I was bitten in the face by a German Shepherd (my fault). Driving to the base dispensary to get it looked at, lying with my head in your lap, crying, and winding up needing one stitch.
You were the one who piqued my interest in birds. We had a conversation about this within the last few years, and I recall that you were surprised that I attributed this to you. My recollections were of you pointing out sweet, chubby sparrows. I guess that did it. I'm sorry we never got to go to the Yuma birding festival. I'll try to get there next year.
I recall that you were always willing for me to try different musical instruments. I 86'd the violin and flute before I finally settled on the trumpet. That steady encouragement meant the world to me, and knowing that you were in the stands when I was in marching band made me so proud. I know that your brother and sister were the musicians in the family, but you always had a great ear.
Always loved seeing you and Dad on the stage in the YCT productions. Loved that you two took tap dancing lessons together. I recall that it was always an unstated competition at the dinner table between R&S&I to see who could crack up the parents. M is showing lots of the performance genes, credit for which is evenly split between the two families, but I wish you could be there to see her on stage this weekend.
Thanks for passing on your love of words and language. It is without a doubt one of the highlights of my life.
The long weekend I came to Yuma several years back and you taught me to knit. I remember you telling me for years that you used to knit "left-handed", and I can't thank you enough for sharing this with me. It's something that I hope M will want to try again some time, but even if she doesn't, I have this bond with you.
There's a lot to say, and I can't possibly get it all down right now. I guess that's why I want to blog it. Sending it out into the ether is the closest I feel I can get to sending you a letter. Dad's hanging in there; you probably know that. S has been a big help to him, and I'm so glad he's back in Yuma. I think it's good for both of them to have time together.
I'll write more soon. I wish I'd been able to talk with you before you left. I miss you, Mom, and I love you so much.