My Dearest Julia,
I was just listening to Roberta Flack sing “First Time Ever I saw your Face”. I remember us loving that song in Hawaii. We listened to it and listened to others sing it as we went to Reubens, eating Popcorn and sipping on glasses of wine. But more than that, I can remember the “first time ever I saw your face”. It was so beautiful. But your blue eyes were what got me. They were so deep. I knew that there was a lot more to you than just a pretty face.
Well dear, the years have taken their toll; this year in particular. As I sit here waiting for friends to come and celebrate your life with me tonight I just wanted to write you one last time. One last time to tell you how much you meant to me. It’s been hard having you gone this year. There are so many things that you did, that we did together. Yes, I am healing, and for the most part I am doing very well. I know that after tonight things will move on even faster. Who knows what life will bring. But for now, just for these few minutes I want to say goodbye. I never got to say goodbye. You didn’t either. I know there is so much we would have said to each other; so much you wanted to say to the girls and your granddaughters.
As you know, because I know you have been watching, we navigated through the holidays pretty well. Going to Hilton Head for Christmas was an idea from Papa to help us begin to heal as a family. But we all missed you so much, especially Christmas Day when we were handing out presents. We missed you take charge of handing out gifts, and taking pictures. I tried, but didn’t get near enough. I don’t think I have ever done as many dishes. I truly understand you so much more than I did. I wish that I could have been more helpful when you were around.
But as I look to the future today, I just think of your love. I know that we both said that if ever anything happened to the other one that the one left should move on, and live life and learn to love again. Of course I always thought that would be you who was left. I joked and said if you left first I would get a dog. Well, I still don’t have one, and it is not on my agenda. Seriously, how do you move past the love of your life? Times are different, I am different. When I met you, it was love at first sight. I don’t think that will ever happen again. What we had was so special. Yes, I know that it doesn’t have to be the same. Yes I know that I do have the capacity to love and that I might find someone, and it probably will be different. Yes, I know that I have a deep capacity to love. OK, whose letter is this? I am supposed to be writing you, not you answering me back.
I know that you knew how much I loved you; I just wish I had told you more. I loved your passion. I loved your passion for me, and your passion for your kids. But more than anything I loved you passion for God. You held it firm, even when I wavered. Back after my retirement when I was just tired and wanted a change, you kept your passion strong and reawakened mine. I thank you for that. I know that sometimes I did the same for you, and I think it was Holy Spirit who made sure that both of us were never down at the same time. I also loved your heart for intercession. You taught me so much. I know that you know now, but I wish I had shared how much I learned from you. Your quiet strength when I might be bouncing off the walls about something. You truly were my anchor.
I miss you terribly at night. I even miss you punching me when you said I snored. I thought by now it wouldn’t be as much, but being alone is really different. I am allowing myself this one last letter to express my love for you. The blog is almost over, and I so much want our granddaughters to really understand what you meant to me. So I am really writing this for them, but still for me. I can remember talking last year as we drove back from Webb. We were talking about the things we wanted to do together. We were talking about Sozo and things at RiverStone. We were talking about going out to Redding in the spring for a visit. But we were really focused on how you were going to Mobile and I was going to come down in a few days. I remember that you bought about 200 dollars worth of material to sew for the new baby. Julia will never have those clothes, but she has so much more. She has some of Anna’s and Meleah’s and Adair’s. But most of all she has a legacy from her Nana. A legacy of love, joy and peace.
You gave each of them, Adair, Meleah and Anna so much love, joy and peace. They will forever remember you, and Julia will know you through them, and perhaps through this blog. I know that there is a hole in our family that cannot be replaced. But God is healing, and He will continue to heal.
So my love, as I wind up this letter and this year I just want to thank you for giving me so much of yourself. You taught me and I taught you how to truly love. It’s about time to get ready to celebrate your life. I have most of our friends coming over to share stories and a few drinks. It will be fun, and I will try to record the stories for the granddaughters. I know that in years to come they will love to hear them. This is the last letter that I will ever write to you my love. You know my heart, and you know that I must look forward. I know that you will be there pressing me on, urging me to run the race whatever it takes me. So I will end with this Sweetheart: I love you with all my heart.