Three

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10:57 a.m.

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Uncle Steve

Dear Lena,

You never got to meet my Great Uncle Steve. This is a fact that will always make me sad. We were almost able to meet up this summer but he just got too sick so it didn’t work out.

I sat down on the couch after I got off the phone with Nana who called to tell me the news, you walked over and asked me if I was sad. I said yes and told you why I was sad. You quietly and steadily said that we should light a fire. We should light a fire and he died away but he will be back.

We lit a candle in honor of your Great Great Uncle Steve tonight. Though I think you were channeling Uncle Steve with the suggestion of lighting a fire…I’m sure he would have gotten a chuckle out of the two of us starting a bonfire in the park blocks.

Love,

Mutti

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Ponyo Ponyo

Dear Lena,

You loooooove you some Ponyo. You carry your little Ponyo around in her green bucket during the day and she gets tucked in right beside you at night.

You have quite the menagerie every night in bed with you. What started with just orange baby has multiplied to orange baby, Gally Lamby, Pink Lamb, White Lamb, Purple Lamb, Kitty, and of course Ponyo. Not only do they get tucked in with you, Mutti has to ask each and every one of them if they want to be snugasabuginarug, give them a kiss and hug, and of course they all need high fives. It’s quite the undertaking getting you settled every night, but you love your friends so we are happy to oblige.

Love,

Mutti

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Summer Almost Gone

Dear Lena,

Summer has slipped by with so much force I don’t even know what we did. We planted a garden at MeMaw and Papa’s so were there every weekend. Mutti and Vati graduated and I entered my graduate program. You had many field trips with your class. You had a great summer for sure! Now it is September…almost the END of September. You start your second year at your fantastic Schule on Thursday. I cannot believe how much you’ve grown.

On Sunday we went to the coast with Vati and Bobo. They were set to do a dive so we thought it would be fun to make the trip after your dance class. We got there and dropped Vati and Bobo off at their dive spot then headed up the road a bit to the beach access where we had decided we would play. The sky had become gray, it was slightly drizzly, but the air was warm and we were pumped. We walked the short distance from the nearly empty parking lot to the ocean front. There was a little boy there playing with his dog Max and his mom. You took to him instantly, helping him build tunnels in the sand. You loved Max, laughing hysterically watching him dig holes and chase drift wood. I coaxed you away from your tunnel building to put our feet in the ocean. We were taken by surprise by a bigger wave then Mutti had anticipated but we laughed and ran back to our tunnels and chatting with Max’s people.

Max’s mom (a very nice lady) suddenly looked up and said “You might want to head back to your car now”. I laughed and looked at the sky that looked like the same drizzle we had been experiencing the whole time. She called Max back from retrieving a stick and told her son to run to the car. Sure enough just as they started back the sky opened up and we were drenched to our underwear in less than two strides.

We spent ten minutes at the beach that day. Ten glorious minutes! It was a very good thing we kept forgetting to drop off those library books that were still in the car.

Washing Autos with Papa

River Rat!

An important date.

Baby Barrie from Abba.

Dance Class!

10 minute Beach

Love,

Mutti

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Slippery

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Dear Lena,

   Sometimes it’s okay to cry and be sad worrying about the past and the future if you also fill your days with field trips with your classmates and even better…
Mini mart chips and a cherry slurpee (slippery).

Love,
Mutti

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Fractured

Dear Lena,

   I used to watch them sitting outside at the cheap plastic table, the cheap plastic chairs making lines in their thighs. They would sit for hours smoking their cigarettes, flicking the golden embers in the grass beneath them. They had matching worry lines knit in their brow, probably from the poverty and the past. They both twirled their lighters, one red, one pink, a mirrored motion. They laughed too, remembering sons and brothers licking freezers and getting hung up by their pants. The same lines that formed the worry, showed the good too.
   I remember the bus station. The days long journey from Yakima to Cheyenne. I remember the embrace, the lean in, the comfort. I can see them standing there. I missed you.
    I look at you my Lena, my daughter. It makes my heart burst. I think perhaps one day, we could be broken too. I worry that having a daughter sealed my fate, that first I too will lose my mother because we are stubborn and sometimes we dont get each other. I am afraid that ignoring this pain will only cause the fracture to spread until those memories, the patio chats, the hugs will be such distant memories I too will forget that somewhere deep within us we have the same worry lines.
   I am the mother of a daughter. I have discovered this to be a very fragile relationship in this family. I know there is strength there and courage. I’m trying desperately to hold those threads together because I have also realized I don’t want you to have to dig so far back in your memory to see your mother and her mother hugging.

   You are sighing in your sleep next to me. I reach out to hold your hand. You pull it away, three fingers covered in Toy Story band-aids. I turn back over. A few moments later I feel your warm fingers wrap around my arm.

Love,
Mutti

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Dear Lena,

So much to do!

Love,

Mutti

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