You left us a year ago yesterday. I don't like the way that sounds, it sort of implies that you went voluntarily, but I don't like the way "taken" or "died" sounds either. And while we "lost" you in some ways, that doesn't quite hit it either. It was a horrible day then, and I thought of you all day yesterday, but I was able to think of good things more than I expected to.
Last Christmas, you found such wonderful gifts for us. We're all still using them so much that it makes me really glad to have them; they're a link for me to you. I pulled out wrapping paper that we'd saved that has stickers on them with your writing. That makes me happy to have, too. I've always envied your penmanship. Lovely AND legible. I sign my name the same way you always have; first two initials and then last name. Brings you to mind each time I do, whether it's at work or signing a check. I like that connection.
I know that you're pleased that Dad is doing so well. He's traveling and continuing to be the social animal that he always has been. He's made a lady-friend in San Diego, and I know he's told you all about her, that she's kind and funny and reads the same books that you like. He took her to dine with Chuck and Muriel and they liked her, too. He misses you so much. I wish I could do more for him from here.
It was a nice, relaxed Christmas this year; I took off a whole week and really got to slow down and enjoy it. We had some snow which made things lovely, but not enough to cause any real problems getting around. Now we're back to rain; typical NW weather.
I miss hearing your voice on the phone. I miss your encouragement when I talk about work issues. I miss hearing you yell at Dad to turn the TV down when you get on the phone. I miss hearing all the redecorating plans for both houses. My mind's eye has you curled up on the couch, needlepointing away or working on acrostics or the NY Times crosswords. I have your Nintendo DS, and I love seeing your name in your writing each time I play with the Brain Age game. I wish that I'd kept your book list. I love you, Mom.