|I have a feeling that you can intercept my electronic data and my blog. You, and the NSA, that is.|
Here on Earth, this is the fifth Christmas we have experienced without your being here in flesh. As you know, each Christmas, I have placed a Christmas letter to you in your stocking. This year, the printer is not working and so, I will be writing it to you here, and I hope, printing it later. It seems fitting as things electronic and internet were so clearly your domain when you were here, and I would imagine you still watch all the little megabits as they form.
We still mention you, think of you, and laugh about things you have said, even five years after your departure. With time, our recollections are more complete and less tainted by grief. I am so grateful for all the memories we have. We may not have done all that I had hoped to, with you, but we lived a life. We really knew you, and you knew us, and perhaps this was part of the reason for your trip to Earth in the first place. As time passes, we accept that it is less that you died and more that you were selected by God for a particular path, and that you are away completing those tasks, for God, and also for us. The "teen room" we created for you is still frequented by your siblings. They borrow your Hancock DVD, Black Adder, Jeeves and Wooster, etc. We have stickers with your face on all your DVDs to ensure that they are returned to your room, eventually. We act as if you are away, perhaps on an expedition with Papa Lawrence, and that you and he will pop in completely unexpectedly, as he used to while traveling.
I am well and working on projects as well as keeping everyone else moving in a positive direction. The loss of you and Dad was a life defining occurence. I spent time fighting it from being, but nothing can ever be the same, in both bad ways and in good ones. I waste nothing now. No moment is wasted and I am mindful that every interaction I have with someone could be our very last one. I am also mindful that each day here could be my last. I make time for the people I love, and spend absolutely no time with those I don't wish to, because I can't squander time. None of us have that luxury.
I think you know all that is going on with your Dad and your siblings. I catch a remnant of your being sometimes when I am working with the dogs and the alpacas. I know the horses amuse you. I also feel you and Dad watching me sometimes as I give immunizations to horses, and particularly when I am moving a horse in a muddy pen. Please tell Dad I am as careful as I know how to be, and that I still hear recollections of his telling me not to approach a horse from the rear. From all the knots I use, it is clear that I was paying better attention in those years when I appeared not to be, than I think he realized. Both of you have impacted me greatly and taught me so much. Thank you both for that.
As always, I will try to make this as positive a holiday as is possible. (Your dog) Jared is, for the moment, hanging on, and functioning fairly well. However, I think this year, your thirteen year old Siberian Husky will be going with you, so please keep an eye on him.
When you next see God, tell him I am grateful for the time in which I did have you, and Dad. I am grateful for His gifts both seen, and unseen, and I give in to feeling sorry for myself only occasionally. I love you, Bug, more than you'll ever know. Merry Christmas to you both.