The Last Letter

Following a solid start, yesterday kinda tanked and I wound up staying in bed feeling sad and then trying to reason my way back to happiness again without much success. Finally, around 8:00pm, I walked over to my dresser and pulled out an envelope containing the letter that my mom wrote to me after she was diagnosed. Although I'd failed in my attempt to read it last weekend when my dad first gave it to me, I managed to get through the whole thing last night and it was truly a gift to spend a few minutes in my mom's presence, even in her ink and paper form. Inside the letter was the story of my life according to her and although it's much too personal to share in its entirety on this web log and probably wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to anyone outside of my immediate family anyway, I'm gonna stash some of the more silly bits and pieces of it below for safe-keeping.

Dad would pick you up from Linda Griffin's house every night and while he was making supper you would show off your advanced vocabulary by mimicking her. You had an amazing vocabulary at a very young age, plus you knew a lot of swear words thanks to Linda.

When you were little you were a huge thinker and worrier. You would suck your thumb and rub the silk on your blanket between your fingers. At night you would do this while looking up at the ceiling, just thinking about stuff. Your amazing little mind was going in so many directions.

You made friends easily but you were always a little cautious to commit. I think you are a little like your dad because he is a cautious thinker and doer, too. He never wants to owe anyone and I think that fits you also.

When you were three or four years old you packed a bunch of toys for a trip to Florida, including a heavy telephone, but our car was very small and we had to fight with you to get you to leave some stuff behind. Now you are the lightest packer we know.

High school tennis was an exciting time for you, but also for us. Sometimes you were a little more competitive than we would have liked, but when you set your mind to achieving something you focused and worked hard at it. In tennis it paid off with you being named All-State two years in a row. We have so many beautiful memories during that time and we're glad Pete and Deb are still special to you. It was also amazing to have Uncle Luz and Aunt Patti by your side then. Not many kids are so lucky to have that many special people around them.

I remember the day you received your acceptance letter from NYU. It was a sunny fall day and your dad and I were working outside in the yard. We called you while you were at a Notre Dame football game and you asked us to open the letter and you were accepted. Again we were so proud and you were so excited. I bet you got drunk that night.

We loved having you home for a few months after your college graduation. It was a cold winter day when we traveled to Chicago to find an apartment for you, but you found the one you loved and you made some great memories there. Once again your independence came out and you found a way to survive on very little money and you had a great time, too. We loved visiting you in that big city.

It was very early in the morning on January 18, 2009 when you told us you were gay. We will never forget that night because you were so upset and no one could help you. Both of us were so sad that you had to keep that secret to yourself for so many years because you were afraid of what we or other people would say. Corey, we're not sure what we would have done if you had told us when you were in junior high or high school, but we never would have stopped loving you.

We were so sad when you left Chicago and moved to San Francisco, but we were also so excited for you to begin working at a great startup like Square. Once again you provided us with a great city to visit and lucky for us we had the time and money to visit you twice in one year.

Even though Bevan is a little old for you, he has given you many gifts that most people can't even imagine are available. We know he loves you and that you love and trust him. He is a great fit for you, Corey.

I don't mean to sound greedy because I feel beyond lucky to have this letter, but if I could just get one every single year for the rest of my life I think losing her might not feel so fucking infinite. As it is this one will stay near me always even though I'll probably have it memorized before too long.

On a lighter note, how completely effin' priceless is her "a little old for you" comment about B?