I have a hard time convincing Aidan not to 'smoosh' bugs. Once you smooshed a slug, and I felt awful. But life and death is a concept you luckily haven't had to learn about yet.
But, I imagine by the time you read this, issues such as life and death will be easier to understand.
This past weekend we lost someone. She passed away, but I don't want her to be forgotten. So I've written about her for you...and for me.
You might not remember her, but your Mother and I, Preston and Toby, and the two of you had a wonderful, unique, kind neighbor named Dorothy. She lived two houses down from us and had a special place in her heart for both of you and Luke and the kids across the street. She was like the neighborhood's grandmother, and a good friend. She cared about us and we cared about her. She is no longer with us.
|Meeting Julia for the first time.|
Dorothy really liked both of you kiddos.
Aidan, you got to spend more time with her than Julia.
You loved playing in her front yard. She had an awesome birdbath, windchimes, a wooden duck and lots of pin wheels. You really like her pin wheels. Once Dorothy gave you one of her pinwheels. You smiled so big.
|At Aidan's Second Birthday|
Miss Dorothy attended all of your birthday parties and was a welcome visitor. She didn't have much, but she did like to give you special toys and gifts from time to time, not just on your birthday. A yellow 16 wheeler toy. A coloring book. Crayons. A white baseball cap, which - on one of our last visits- she insisted that I take for you and give to you when you were older.
When we visited her just about 10 days ago when her health was already in decline, you were a gentleman, Aidan. You squirmed a bit and were kind of shy around a living room full of strangers, but you told Dorothy you loved her and gave her a kiss and a hug before you announced that it was "dragon time" (you had just gotten your wagon, and it was time to go).
Dorothy joined us for many tornado watches. We called them 'tornado parties.' When the weather got dark and the sirens started wailing, or if the weather report said that a tornado watch was under way, Dorothy always came over, umbrella in hand, to weather the storm with us. She made me feel brave.
She was so excited for you to arrive, Julia. She called to check on us while we were still in the hospital. She was anxious for your arrival. She bought you a pink hat from Seattle.
Hear Dorothy's Voice. This is the voice of a kind soul who, sure, could get off topic like nobody's business, but in the end, she meant business, and her business was caring about her neighbors.
You guys had a special kinship. When Dorothy got very sick, you made her laugh.
She talked about you to all her friends and showed off your birth announcement as if she were your own Grandmother.
Both of you kids made Dorothy happy. And she made us happy too. She was loyal friend, a good neighbor and a great person.
I'm so glad we got to know her, and spend so many moments with her. She was the first to really make our street feel like a home.
I'm glad we all got to say goodbye.
I want you to remember her.
You never know when your number's up. Dorothy was lucky in that she was pretty much told that her number was up. She got to make last requests, and two of those were to see the two of you. To hold you and kiss you and say goodbye. You both honored her request and put a smile on her face in her final days.
Being so close to a death always puts life in perspective. It makes you realize what you would want to do before you go. Now, rest assured, if I have any say in it, I'll be annoying both of you for a long, long, long time. I'll annoy your children and your children's children.
But, I want you to know that you, my children, and your mother are the best parts of my life. The best part of me. You make me feel whole and I love you forever and ever.
Dorothy is no longer with us, but her kindness and love will never be forgotten.
That's the thing to remember: Love goes on. Life goes on.