Dear Mom and Dad-
I remember writing letters to you guys from Girl Scout camp, letting you know about all our activities and reassuring you that all was well. I remember one letter you sent telling me that Stubby, our dog, was now the official dishwasher since I was gone. I miss shopping with Mom, choosing weird or ugly items and waiting for the sales people to tell us how great we would look wearing them. And thanks for going to Back to School Night and apologizing to my teachers--in advance!
Anyway, it's been a year since the two of you decided to give K and me the old one-two punch and die within two months of each other, your lungs finally giving in to the cancer lurking for so many years. At the end, I watched Dad's spirit flutter in his breast for a few seconds before taking flight. It was amazing. I wasn't there to see your spirit take off, Mom, but I know you were looking forward to the trip. Before you died you had some interesting visions, including people all dressed up as if for a party. When I asked who they were, you didn't know, but the folks looked friendly and acted as if you should join them.
Dad, every time I go outside and see the pines and the rim rock, see a trout in the creek, or putter around in the Growing Dome, I say, "Dad would love it here!" Today Tom said as we were measuring for a fence to go around the Dome, "I miss your Dad!" We could always use your guidance when it came to building stuff.
I wish you guys could have come to visit, to see why we chose this place to live. Dad would have made a circuit of the yard and the dome, just looking, wanting to see how it all worked. Mom, you would have emerged from the car like you always did, brave smile in place, not happy in the wild country, but glad to visit just the same. Mom, you would wonder about our sanity choosing to be so far from everything. Dad, you would want to stay.
Mom and Dad, I'm doing okay although I still get the blues and wish you were around. Mom, I know you were worried I wouldn't have a social life out here, and I can assure you that I am meeting new friends and keeping in contact with my old ones, too. I know, also, you were concerned that I would gain a ton of weight here because I love to cook and there would be nothing else to do but cook and eat. Actually, I have lost 12 pounds this year, probably because there are no Chili's, Macaroni Grill, Miguels, or fast food restaurants within 50 miles. I still love to cook, but it's fairly healthy stuff so we're okay in the food department.
Dad, when I'm working in the Growing Dome I feel you there, coaching me to become a great gardener, a voice in my head, saying, "Bridge, do you think you might need to make a bigger trellis for those cucumbers? How about a little compost for those peppers?" And so I make the trellis taller and sprinkle the compost, a gardener like you, my dad. You would be amazed at the red peppers. They look like they're on steroids!
I know you are both doing well, whether we call your place Heaven or just The Party. Dad is at The Party tending bar and Mom, you're working the room, chatting up everyone and making sure they have a good time. All your friends, relatives, neighbors and pets are there, too, and it's an awesome sight, everyone having fun and laughing at us hapless mortals still there on Earth.
So anyway, I just wanted you to know we are okay, missing you, but happy you can be at The Party. So sit back, enjoy the show, and raise your glasses in a toast. We'll do the same right here.