Wow. It has been a long time since we last talked. Nine years, right? Only nine years… It feels like an eternity to me. Does it feel that long to you? I’m sure you’re busy, but I like to think you have days that feel like they’ll never end because you just need to talk to me. You know that feeling you get behind your belly button that yanks down hard and lets you know you need something more? Maybe you don’t, but I know I do.
Things are going pretty great here. Work is still work, but at least it pays well and I have an end in sight. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you! I will be going to BYU Law this fall. The same law school you went to so many years ago. Pretty soon my picture will be posted in the same hallway yours is.
Too bad no one will know that Alexandra Sandvik was raised by the curly-haired blonde who graduated in ’80. I remember you told me that you were recognized as a Featherstone descendant at a family reunion once just by your unique nose. No one will ever recognize me as your daughter by any physical trait you gave me, but maybe I will be recognized in different ways.
Like remember how we both like the same books? The whole time you were with me I don’t think I ever read a book that you didn’t read too. And since I devoured the entire juvenile fiction section at the Provo library, that was quite a feat for you.
You would read ones from the Scholastic Book Club like Maniac Magee and Whatever Happened to Janie. Then I would read your grown up book club books with you like Angela’s Ashes and the Color Purple. A lot of times those books scared me but I never told you that. I can’t wait to tell you about some of the new books I’ve read.
I’ve also inherited something from you that I didn’t anticipate. Remember all those vacations we would take with early morning hikes and long drives? How I would complain the whole way? Well, it turns out I love nature’s bounty just as much as you now.
Once the outdoors couldn’t offer me anything better than a sturdy tree to climb and a body of water to swim in. I’ve since turned to oohing and ahhing over things like sedimentary rock formations and dark clouds rumbling over mountain tops. But I have to admit I'm not as interested in bugs. I'll keep my animals furry and slobbery.
For a long time I was afraid to talk about you. Afraid to use the past-tense. So I would just avoid ever mentioning you; pretending you didn’t ever exist because that was easier than accepting the fact that you were once my best friend and are now inexplicably gone.
But what I didn’t realize is that I was killing you all over again. By refusing to accept the pain of the memories I had of you I was throwing away the only piece of you I had left.
I promise I won’t do that anymore, mom. I want to revive your memory so that I can feel you right by my side again. I might not get to introduce you to Jason – or do you know him already? I don’t know how things work up there – but I can make sure he knows you as well as anyone can through stories. And when the time comes to having kids I want to make sure their grandma is more than a name and a face.
So until we can all sit at a big table around a fabulous meal, I’ll try to keep in touch!
Love you mom.