(71) letter #2 to my niece

Dear little one,

I had a bit of a hard week and today, after the miracle, after the laughter and long sigh of relief, I could retrace this miniature journey and see how blessed you and I are to have such wise family and friends. Each person I spoke to had a word or phrase of wisdom that stuck with me and helped me be calm and attentive in the important conversation today.

And you helped too, sweetheart. You are teaching me that loving you means making space for you and letting you fill up that space. I suppose there are times when us grown-ups must just get things done (dishes and food preparation and cleaning and such), but is there anything else really as truly valuable and sweet as tickling your ears just to hear your laugh? Or reading (or reciting) Moo Baa La La La again with your cuddly little self in my lap? Or retrieving smashed pear from the recesses of your high chair so you can continue your tactile exploration of food?

Without even trying, you fill me with such joy and hope, just when I need it the most. And it makes me want to separate more unscheduled time just to watch you curiously explore the world. I think you are teaching me to slow down and practice embracing the moment, little one. No wonder Jesus encouraged us to become like little children.

You cannot begin to imagine how completely loved you are, just as you are. I hope you will never doubt it. And I cannot begin to explain how thankful I am for you. It’s nighttime now and I hope you sleep well, amor. I am looking forward to seeing you again in the morning.

All my love,

Auntie Ani


(59) anniversary (letter to a dear man, far away)

There is just one little thing that I cannot get over
And that is going to sleep without you.
I anticipated this, remember?
Muffled and not so muffled tears into your back, night after night
“I just don’t want you to leave.”

And now you’ve been far away from me for a whole three almost four months
And I’m still sometimes surprised at how cold the empty side of the bed feels.
I still occasionally find tears waiting for me here, alone in bed
After making it okay even happy through another day.
I wonder if this is what the grief would feel like
If you die before me someday and I’m really left without you.
It might be different though
I hope we’ll have lived many more years together
And I imagine we’ll mean even more to each other by then.

Just recently I’ve started sprawling across the whole bed
Instead of staying on my side
And I imagine you coming home and teasing me like you always do
About commandeering your side of the bed
But the truth will be the same as always
I love being close to you.

It’s our anniversary next week
Two years, can you believe it?
So little, and at the same time, so much.
If these first two years have been so full
Of everything, really
I can hardly imagine what the next years will bring.
Let the adventure continue.

And God willing, the adventure will include
Many, many simple nights
Of falling asleep in this bed
Beside you.