I got the proof of my book today. It will be published any day now. I want to dial your number and hear you on the other end of the line. I want you to congratulate me and tell me how proud you are of me. I want you to drive down to my book signing next week and make a long winded toast about how you always knew deep down inside that I would follow my passions. I want you to bring me tulips that match my cover and I want you to pick out the champagne for your toast. I want you to help talk to all of my friends at the party and I want you to help me with my marketing strategy. I want you to pat me on the back and ask me what’s next. I want you to present me with a letter at the end of the night written on a yellow legal pad. I want that letter to reveal some pieces of your life that still seem to be missing. I want you to drink too much and stay up all night talking to yourself. I want you not to be dead.
But you are dead and the hands on the clock can’t be turned backwards. But you’re not gone. You’re in the white spaces in my book in between the punctuation and the letters. You’re present on every page because you’re the one who pushed me to write. You’re the one who bought me the books and showed me the way. You’re the one who reminded me that even moms of four can make their dreams a reality. And you’re the one I was always so desperate to please that I would try anything, even writing a letter to the dead, to get you to say you were proud of me.
So here is this letter written on my iPad from my dark room while I should definitely be sleeping. A letter that popped into my head and forced me to write. A letter that really only needs two words…thank you.