Today is the anniversary of your death. We have traveled through four decades on life’s ocean without you. We’ve wished you were sailing with us—noticing the scenes of wonder, smiling in awe, enduring the fierce storms, keeping us calm, listening to the sounds at sea, grasping hope in each season, gazing at the sun and moon and clouds and stars and planets, walking on the sand when the vessel came ashore.
But we’ve tracked these seasons only seeing your smile through memories and stories and pictures. No live face-to-face conversations. No grins when we thought the same thoughts. No prayers together. No meals cooked for us while you sang your songs.
I’m sad we’ve had none of that.
I’m thankful, though. Forty years after we said goodbye, I’m grateful for my nineteen years with you. I cherish those times. You taught me to love. To listen. To truly be present. To find positives—even when life’s unpredictable currents and dangerous waves caused us to fear the water.
You didn’t deny danger. You talked about it. You sang in the depths of it. You prayed your way through it. All while wrestling your own wars. All while encouraging other passengers on this excursion at sea. All while navigating gently, calmly, peacefully.
Well, we continue sailing without you. Remembering you, imagining you, and still learning from you, we miss you. We are thankful for the time we did have.
Forty years later, we’re drifting on. Forty years later, we’re wishing you were here.
I love you,
Nice tribute. I can see the resemblance.
What a beautiful tribute to an extraordinary woman who lives on in the hearts and memories of those who cherished her during her short walk on this earth. Some walk for 80 or 100 years without much impact. Carolyn walked briefly, but with great impact. What a legacy she has left to those she loved.
Beautiful letter! It’s hard to lose a parent. Best wishes.