Sunday, August 31, 2014

December 18, 2014 Your 60th Birthday

Dec. 18, 2013

Dear Tom,

Today would be your 60th birthday and today is a day of reflection for your still grieving sister.  I miss you my brother, my friend, and my confidant.

Since you’ve been gone many things have happened.  I am the grandmother of 4 grandsons.  Andy works in the same industry as dad and Nathan is a Roman Catholic priest.  Dan has finally moved home and is able to work at home and I retired from teaching June 2012.

 Carina is a wonderful mother to Liam and wife to Brandon.  She is wonderful about keeping your life story part of her story.  You would be so proud of her.  I feel so sad that you can’t be here to babysit, play, fish, and make pies with Liam. 

 I don’t have any idea how Heather and Tyler are doing because Pris will not give us access to them.  I was in touch with Tyler a couple of years back but haven’t heard from him since.  It’s sad your children are estranged from their family.

I have no contact with David.  I heard he got married and I am very excited for him.  I’ve written him over the years and he never answers.  I’m glad he won’t be lonely and he will have someone to share his life with.  Everyone deserves to be loved.

So many times I wished I could pick up the phone and talk to you.  Things have really changed. Being able to communicate became much easier with the advent of cell phones and social media.  I would tell you to come up and we could go pick blueberries and make pie and jam.  In the spring you could come with your grandson and we could go to Moosehead and teach him to fish.  I would call and tell you I am coming down and we could canoe Bigelow and reminisce about the days of playing pioneers, climbing trees, and catching suckers in the brook.  Maybe you would text me a picture of the beautiful feathers of a pheasant and I would drive down to stew the delicate meat into a delicious sauce like dad used to.  We would be friends on facebook posting pictures of our kids and grandchildren and all the places we visited. Probably sharing a recipe or two to accommodate the bounty of our gardens.
 In the fall you would come stay with me and hunt deer on our 13 acres of property in South Paris, Me.  We would crank up the woodstove and you would have tea with sugar and milk just like grandma use to make for you and I’d have hot cocoa. I’d make you grandma’s chicken and rice soup and you would make an apple pie.  In the morning we’d have French toast the way dad use to make it with think cuts of mom’s homemade bread and plenty of maple syrup from our own trees.  Remember the gigantic maple in the front of our old house?

I finally got rid of my beloved Saab.  She was good to me in all kinds of bad weather.  But I am always on the look out for that antique truck.  One that will haul my Christmas tree and one that my black lab, Othello, and I could bounce down back roads with.  I love back roads.  I think it started in Connecticut when I’d visit grandpa Prouty at the cemetery.  Over the years I have collected the most amazing stories from people who live on those back roads.  I often day dream of taking off in my truck, with Othello, my camera and recorder and making a documentary of the back roads of Me, NH, and Vt.

I go to Vermont twice a year to visit our Prouty relatives.  Dan laughs at me and calls my travels to Vermont my obsession with the dead relatives.  You would be interested in the stories I have written about.  We have a very colorful and rich family history in Vermont.  Quite possibly it is where you would have loved to live.  Beautiful farm land, peaceful, and very traditional values.  I see you there for sure.  My next story to write is a story about our Great Grandmother.  She was a very strong, brave, and determined woman.  I’m fascinated by the events in her life and her unrelenting love of her family. 

My retirement was bittersweet.  For someone who started out as a biology major and wanted to be a librarian, I found teaching to be very rewarding.  I taught over 500 students in my career and I’m still in touch with some of them.  In 2001 I was voted teacher of the year.  I was very excited about that.  It is a vote of confidence from my peers.  My students and parents threw me a big classroom party.  I also wrote and received 2 huge grants from National Semi Conductor.  One for equipment to support a digital history project the other to support integrated science, math, and reading, and writing project.  It was a great achievement that benefited my students and the school.  I wish mom and dad could have been around when I received these awards.  Mom thought going to college was a waste of time and Dad was excited to know I wanted to be teacher. Did you know that mom prevented dad from coming to my graduation?  He did let me know in his own way he was proud of me. 

My dear brother, so much has happened but these are a few of the highlights.  Wish I had more news about your kids. This is the last picture I have of Heather.  I remember Dan making this picture of Heather and I at the same age.  It was uncanny.  When you left they were so small and I haven’t seen them since you’ve been gone.  It makes me sad.  But be rest assured I keep in touch with Carina and they are one cute little family.

Love you Tom and miss you.  I miss what our life could have been and having a brother to talk to.


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