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Dear Elder Tario,

It's a cold December night and I'm thinking of things I would say if you were here. 

I might say: I've missed you.

or

I'm sorry it's been difficult.

or

Tell me about the good things.

or

I might say nothing at all.

A lot of life is spent saying nothing at all.  Sitting in a movie theater or watching TV.  Riding in a car.  Tonight Carly and I drove home together from Grandma's house, almost all the way in the silence of an audio book.  I think she listened to about half.  The other half she spent just thinking.

I sometimes wonder what internal monologue sounds like to everyone else.  I know what mine sounds like.  There's a lot of "why'd you do that" reasoning and "I should've said..."  It's words, though.  Apparently, that internal monologue isn't the same for everyone.  What did the monologue sound like before I had words?  That's a question I can't answer. 

The night outside was inky black while we drove, a scattering of pin-prick stars and Christmas lights.  Peaceful.  The vast darkness of the landscape mirrors the space between moments in my life right now.  Pin-pricks of light and stars, with lots of cold space between.  Not scary or lonely or even empty, just peaceful.  In that black space there is room enough for missing you, though, and wondering.  What are you doing and thinking and feeling?  Are you okay?  In those thoughts, Boise is a million miles away.

I've spent my grown-up life working towards now.  The now of 40, grown-up son, employment.  And although I've been working towards this my whole grown-up life, I'm not ready for it.  I'm fumbling my way through.  I'm wishing for the confidence to navigate with my eyes wide open, instead I'm stumbling with my eyes half shut.  Somehow, it's okay.  Somehow, I keep moving.  And I guess what I'm trying to say is:

Missing you is a reminder of how much I love you.

Don't worry if it's difficult.

Focus on the good things.

Sometimes the best moments are when there is nothing happening at all, like on this cold December night. 

And everything's okay.

Love,

Mom

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