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Dear Margaret

Dear Margaret

Dear Marg,

365 days ago you died.  It feels so strange that time is such a jerk and keeps ticking on, even when I asked it not to.  Time is very rude when it wants to be.

As you know, because you're still here, everywhere, so much has happened in 365 days. 

Dan and Chelsea gave you a granddaughter!  Beatrice Margaret.  She looks so much like Dan, it's funny.  She's the chubster baby of all our dreams; all smiles and farts and grown of straight breastmilk.  Dan is the most amazing dad, of course.  You'd be so proud. 

In the last 365 days, water was found on Mars; Donald Trump is an actual presidential candidate; same sex marriage was held up by the Supreme Court; the first woman bishop was appointed in the Church of England; and I sold my country house and moved to Troy.  You know, just a few big things.

365 days ago, I couldn't sleep.  I had my third consecutive dream that you got up out of your chair, Jazzy, and walked over to your son, and my man-buddy, Dan, and gave him a hug.  I woke up on that hot July day, and immediately started gnawing my nails to nubs.  Those are the days that I regret having not taken up something blissful like smoking. 

365 days ago,  I was nervous about my sister Kellie's wedding, and was wound tighter than a knot in a necklace chain in the wind.  "Our" in-laws were flying in that day from all corners of the earth, and I simply needed the entire City of Troy to get its act together, put on its face, and impress the pants off of 150-ish guests.  I don't ask for much, just control of the weather, the rotation of the earth, and other small details.

The morning of 365 days ago, I locked myself out of my car at work, of course.  We had just heard that it was going to be a matter of hours that you would have left with us, and I think I was lucky to remember to put pants on that day.  I think of you when things happen, like locking yourself out of your car, because you would laugh at me when I thought the world had ended.  You were very Julia Childs in that way - dropped the Thanksgiving turkey?  Just pick it up and make it right again!

365 days ago, I didn't go see you because it would have been just that - seeing you.  I so desperately wanted to hold the memories of being with you all spring.  We had a beautiful handful of Sundays, after you got that unbelievable diagnosis:  ALS.  After all the fighting and brain surgeries and hardship?  ALS??  Come on.  Those few Sundays in the spring where we had the opportunity to cook dinner for you and Sean were all we had.  Toward the end, it was take out Chinese or pizza in your living room where you had everything you needed.  Do you remember watching the last day of the Danamora prisoner manhunt?  It was raining that day. 

Within the last 365 days, Kellie, got married, and I didn't puke giving the speech.  You're not surprised, I know, but I was.  I don't know of any speech that will be harder to give than the that one, only three days after you left us.  Did you see what a ham I was?  You always got a big kick out of me making an fool of myself.  I did that part for you. 

I miss you most days.  Sometimes I talk to you.  You were a great listener, mostly because you didn't have a choice, and because I have a tendency to filibuster.  I miss that you could Captain Von Trapp the whole family into falling in line with just a look.  I miss when you would have one more little whiskey sour when Katie Baby wasn't looking, and then you'd smile and shrug.  Mostly I miss making you laugh.  Even when it was the only sound you could make, it was just that much more beautiful. 

Sometimes when I feel anxious in a way that makes me want to crawl out of my skin, I think of you.  How often did you try to crawl out of your skin?

I miss you the most when I write.  You were one of my biggest fans.  Did you know that you were my very first client with Food From A Broad?  You were!  You trusted me with Kate's graduation party when she became the first Upper Camp doctor.  I wish I remembered if the party went well...the sangria was flowing that night.  You did give me the thumbs up after I shaved my tongue the next morning, and that's all I'll ever need to know. 

I would have loved to get your opinion on my silly blog and all the baby crap I do.  When I started getting into all this baby jazz, you gave me the best advice ever that I tell moms pretty much every day:  when they bite, hold them tighter.  Sometimes, with this writing, people bite, and I try to remember to hold them tighter.  You also taught me that if you're the one at a wedding in the electric chair, and you're trying to dance, you get to run over people's feet. 

I love this blog - and I get a kick out of myself, especially with running jokes, like DeFazio's.  What "my public" doesn't know is that your main squeeze, Sean, would get a small pepperoni pizza almost every Friday night from DeFazio's.  When the DeFazio family heard about your passing, without hesitation, they delivered enough pizza to feed your army without charge.  Seeing now how busy they are every night of the week, I have no idea how many orders they canceled, or what kind of magic they conjured, but I will never forget seeing Matt DeFazio's sweaty face in his apron walking up your path with more boxes than he could see over.  Having been about 8 Miller Lites in by then, I now say with all of my heart, that I know that not all heroes wear capes.

You taught me many things - the biggest was that if you don't laugh, you cry - and that both are ok.  Thanks for taking me to the ballet that one time, when I was a pre-pubescent jerk, and it was just the two of us.  I hope I didn't have "resting bitch face" the whole time like I usually do, because I still remember that with fondness. 

Anyway, I know you're very busy and important, so I'll let you go.  Tell everyone I said hi.  Keep in touch, but don't scare the crap out of me because you think it's funny.  You would too. 

Keep an eye on us, ok?  We're going to keep doing our best down here, even when it feels like we're trying to jog through quicksand.  We know it's what you always did. 

All the Xs and the Os,

Air

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