Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dear Rhonda...

Linking up for my weekly "fix" of Mama Kat's Writing Workshop...

Assignment:  Write an open letter to someone you used to know.

Dear Rhonda:

Hello my friend.  I miss you.  So much.  I am writing you this letter as part of my weekly blog contribution to a group of us that link up and share stories.  I know you are giggling because you think my blogging is a silly addiction never said it but I knew.  I also know you read it faithfully and I appreciate that.  I'd like to think it was a way for you to "keep in touch" with the daily happenings of my life.

I have so much I want to tell you, I just wish I could call you and talk rather than having to share it in cyberspace.  You were pretty "up" on technology so I am going to assume that from the "other-side" you are reading this...

I have spent more time with Calvin in last few weeks than I have since he was born.  This makes me so happy and sad all at the same time. He is such a wonderful little man Rhonda.  I look into his eyes and I see so much of you.  Your humor, your tenacious spirit...your love.  We were at Jayla's birthday party on Saturday and he summoned Tab my announcing "Garcon, I need help back to my seat now!" when he was finished playing with the kids in the bounce house.. LMAO!  Of course Tab was "right on it"...he's such a dedicated dad. He misses you more than he lets on because he is trying to be so strong for Calvin and everyone else. I just want to wrap my arms around the both of them and take their pain away.

And your sister...WoW! What a strong woman. We always knew this about her but  I have a new found respect and admiration for who she "is".  Her pain and sorrow deepens as the days pass and I hope she allows herself to be happy again soon.  Real soon.   It sounds like you are helping her with this and I hope you continue too!  I haven't talked to your mom & dad in a couple weeks.  I am going to call them just as soon as I am done writing this letter.  I want them to know that I am always thinking of them and how much they are loved. 

Rhonda, I am so grateful to have met all your other friends.  You really surrounded yourself with good, caring people.  We have common ground to stand on and to which to build our relationships...that's you my friend.  Even in death you are bringing people together, which is not surprising.

 Raeline and I have grown close, she has given me so much strength. Our friendship has blossomed in light of this tragedy. Being with her makes me feel closer to you. She loved you so much Rhonda. She is struggling but I hope that our friendship and shared memories of you will bring us both comfort.  I know that you will continue to guide us through all that is yet to come.  I wanted to show you the beautiful flower arrangement she made me. Look familiar? Yes?!?!  She actually found the smaller glass candle holder that you bought her.  She wanted me to have something to cherish and remember you by...she is so thoughtful.

I'm sorry.  I'm so very sorry that I didn't make more time for you and that awesome little man of yours.  I'm so sorry that I allowed my "perceived" busy life to get in the way of what is really important...spending time with the people I love.  Your death has shinned a light so bright on what is and is not important in life.  I am so blessed for this but it tares me up inside that you had to die to open my eyes.  I'm angry.  Very angry.  At God, the world...myself.  I lost so much precious time.  Time I should have spent with you.  I can't change that but I CAN change the time I have left with the people in my life and how I chose to spend it.  I am trying to release this negative energy and embrace the joy that you did bring to my life but it's hard.  I am struggling, way more than I let anyone know. 

There are so many things that were left unsaid.  So many...

I never told you that when I arrived in Calgary 14 years ago I had so many insecurities and doubts.  I didn't think I'd be able to follow through and start a new life so far away from my family and friends.  BUT then I met you 2 days after I arrived and your beautiful smile and friendly words instantly made me feel "at home".  Your wonderful sense of humor and welcoming, honest, straightforward personality gave me comfort.  I knew we would be the best of friends.  I envied (in a good way) your carefree, "live life in the moment" lifestyle and I knew you would teach me a thing or two.  And you did.  Yes, you sure did.  I never told you how valued your extended hand of friendship meant to me back then.  I wish I would have.

 I also never expressed how honored I was to have stood with you on your wedding day.  Nope.  I missed the boat on that one too!  Or, the time you drove 2 hours to come and visit me in the hospital back in 2001.  Seeing you that day helped my recovery & lightened my spirit.  Another thing left unsaid.  Damn it. 

Like any STRONG & REAL relationship, there were times when we had to agree to disagree but I hope you knew and FELT that I loved you, respected you and supported you.  I should have said it but I can't turn back the hands of time now...I can only write it down and pray that you "hear" it. 

Most importantly and most devastating is that I never told you that I thought one of your greatest accomplishment in life was giving birth to that little boy of yours.  How I thought that you were one of the best moms I knew.  I wish I would have told you that I wanted to "bottle up" your love & dedication to motherhood and how I have modelled myself, as a mom, in large part after your parenting philosophy and "ways".  Ya, I totally regret not telling you all these things.  I can only hope that you "knew".  Believing this helps me "let go" of some of my guilt and regret.

I want to thank you my friend.  Thank you for giving me the gift of foresight and a renewed commitment to not take one second of the short time I have left on earth.  You have no idea the impact your passing has had on my outlook on the world.  I wake up each morning grateful for every single blessing I have in my life AND every challenge I must face (as I know it will make me a better person).  I make a point of calling the people I love all. the. time. and I never forget to tell them I love them.  I am spending QUALITY time with all the people I cherish.  I no longer take for granted that next week or tomorrow will come because now I know, it may not.  You had to give your life for my life to be better and for this I will forever be in debt to you. 

One last thing before I gotta run.  Despite the fact that my kids are not going to get to "know" you (and this makes be the most sad) they will always love you as much as I do and they will never forget you.  Case in point...

This morning as I dressed the kids to head out I said, "This is the outfit Rhonda bought you for your Birthday!  Isn't it comfy?"

To which Ave replied with her arm stretched above her head and a finger pointed upwards, "RaNaw.  In heaven.  Hi RaNaw. Luv you!" and she blew you a few kisses, as she does every night before bed. 

Most days I join in and send you a few kisses myself but this morning I busted out in tears and Ave was startled.  She was very concerned as she asked, "Mama sad?  Mama cry?" 

I put a huge smile on my face, gathered myself quickly and replied, "Yes honey, mama is sad.  Mama misses Rhonda and loves her very much!  But it's so nice that we can say hello whenever we want isn't it?"

She smiled and then started saying hello and blowing kisses to her Great Pa-Pa and Great Grammy too.

Just in case we forget tonight or ANY night, here she is saying hello and letting you know she loves ya (check out how she thinks about it for a minute...too funny!).  I tried to get Bryce to speak up but you know how boys can be sometimes.  He is looking up atcha though...LOL!  (I pray you do hear and feel "the love" when we give you a "shout-out up there".)

Until our next "chit-chat" my friend, I am sending you enough hugs n' kisses to "last"!


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  1. Wonderfully written Ginger.......lovely tribute to your friend. Hopefully everyone who reads this will think about this.

  2. This is a beautiful letter to Rhonda Ging. I really don't know what it is about all of this but you know what happens to me when I read what you write about her and Calvin...slideshow all Just so you know, when I was reading this, I have no doubt in my mind that Rhonda knew how you felt about her. She knew how much her friendship meant to you as I'm POSITIVE yours meant the same to her. Some things although you feel completely different in times of sadness - are always felt by the heart and never have to be spoken out loud.
    The fact that you were immediate friends and so close for 14 years should let you know that Rhonda obviously felt something pretty special about you as well - otherwise she wouldn't have let you into her life...
    The fact that you took on the most important role on her wedding day- other than the groom that is...told Rhonda how much she meant to you
    The fact that she asked YOU should confirm that Ging...
    You will never come across a FOREVER friendship where those blessed enough to be part of it, don't love and admire each other no matter what. You and Rhonda have 14 years as great friends and the fact that you remained so close hopefully lets you know that she felt the same for you. You don't call someone a friend if they don't love, respect and support you through anything. You should know that based on what you've been there for me through Ging...That face that you supprot when you don't "agree" speaks to your dedication to friendship.
    And in regard to letting Rhonda know how much you admired her as a Mom...The fact that you model your parenting after her - and that isn't just because of her death would have let her know Ging that you respect her and clearly think she is a great Mom - I say is because you're still modelling, and Calvin is (i'm assuming) still living life as his Mom taught she modelled.
    She knew Ging how you felt even if you never spoke a word - although knowing you...I find it hard to imagine you've never told her at all any of the things you've mentioned in your letter to her. You just may not remember it Ging - everything becomes more important/ clear when you look back...Not when you're looking ahead

    And just so you know...I LOVE YOU GINGER!!! And can HONESTLY say that MUCH of what you've stated here about Rhonda - especially regarding when you first arrived in Calgary - I feel about you and the girls here. Calgary was not home until you guys came into my life so Thank you for that. Oh and by the way, I KNOW I've told you that before - that's why I know you've said it to Rhonda - anyone who knows you knows you're not one for keeping things in lol

  3. I love this beautiful post, Ginger. So heartfelt and full of emotion for your friend!

  4. What a beautiful letter. I still talk to my friend who passed. Positive thoughts your way.

  5. Beautiful letter Ging. Please don't regret the words unsaid. She knew and knows. That's what marks the best friends they understand the unspoken. *Hugs*

  6. Beautiful tribute to your friend! Thanks for sharing as it makes all of us think about how we need to share our love with our friends right now while we still can.

  7. Ging that was so unbelievably well written and very touching...YOU are a great friend! Rhonda knew everything you are regretting not having 'said' out loud. Your letter gave me goosebumps and tears...I love you...and can't wait to see you all soon! ~karen xo

  8. In tears reading this post. I, too, have recently lost someone very close to me, and am trying so hard to cope with the grief while raising my twin 3 y/o boys.



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