Dear Larry, my love:
You would have burst with pride if you could have seen our granddaughter make her acting debut in Fiddler on the Roof. The production was so well done and, of course, our girl was outstanding! So mature. So confident. So self-assured. No, she’s just a little girl!
You used to pretend to fuss at her and told her that she was growing up too fast and to STOP. You would push down on the top of her head in your attempt to stop nature from propelling our sweet little girl into womanhood. You did not succeed because nature is winning and our little girl is growing up. But watching her on the stage with her contemporaries, I was confused by how tiny she looked standing next to them and the contrast of her mature demeanor. Maybe we have a little time left with our little girl before the world whisks her away in a funnel cloud of life choices. Give me a few more years. Give me a few more days. Please don’t take her away from me even for a moment or even when I have to look up to see her eyes because she is taller than me, let her know that she is still our special little girl.
And then they sang:
Is this the little girl I carried,
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older.
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty,
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small?
And time stood still. I watched her, listened to the beautiful music and thought of you. There was no accident that I was here with these people, at this time seeing this play and hearing this music. Sunrise, Sunset. This is US. It is our story right now. If you were sitting next to me, the meaning would be different. You would be proudly watching our little girl and thinking that this is just a nice song. Instead, the seat next to me is empty and they are singing our life.
Swiftly flow the days.
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers.
Blossoming even as we gaze.
You used to say that you thought it was easier for fathers than for mothers. Fathers looked at it as a job. You get them. You raise them. You teach them morals and integrity. You allow them to experience the consequences of their actions. You pack their bags and carry them to the porch and then you watch, from afar, the rewards of your work. Mothers, you thought, reacted differently. It is harder for us as we never want to release the string on our balloon and watch it float higher and higher into the clouds where we can no longer snatch the string and pull it home. We release them into the clouds where we have no idea what awaits them, and we are not close enough to shield them. We don’t want them to have consequences because we want to stay close enough so the world challenges fall on us and does not touch them. Give the burden to me, but please don’t hurt my girl. Let me wrap her in my life scars so never has to see the ugliness. But the world does not spin that way and you knew it. I know that you were right. My way protects them from being prepared for life. Your way teaches them to live.
Swiftly fly the years.
One season following another.
Laiden with happiness and tears.
Laiden with happiness and tears because our years flew by too swiftly. The seat next to me is empty and we will never be US again. For some reason that I still ask God about, He decided that he needed you more than I did. That is not be true. How did the end happen so fast?
Another sunrise. Another sunset. Another day without you.
I miss you so badly.