A letter to J

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River Rock Texture 002, by Christina Quinn on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

Dear J,

It’s your birthday! We’re gonna party like it’s your birthday! Well, in our creaky and cautious way we are. Too much alcohol in the middle of the week never does us much good. But we’ll have some later, because of course we will.

I keep tallying up in my head all the ways I feel I’ve failed you (just today: coconut cake I bought for you had undisclosed cream cheese frosting – blech). But I know you don’t think in those terms, so I’m trying to stop.

You’re my rock (and you rawk). Solid, broad-shouldered, strong and unwavering. Without you, I couldn’t have had the response to my illness that I did. Without you leaning all the way in, my return to work would have been disastrous. You enable me to be strong by letting me not worry about the rest. I don’t think any prior situation in your life prepared you to face what we’ve gone through, which means that your response to it is simply part and parcel of who you are. A problem solver. A one-man pit crew. A beacon in a storm. Damn, I am a lucky woman.

For the coming year, I wish you more music (and people to play it with), more basketball, and more love. And 100% less cancer caregiving. Because enough already.

I love you.

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