Dear Jackie,

I’ve been thinking about you all day today. It started with coffee. At 6:00 am. Can you believe I wake up with the sun these days? I would’ve slept all day if you let me back then. Of course, you didn’t let me. Not often. Not unless I was sick. Is that why I’m thinking about you so much? Because so many in the world are sick right now?

You always worried about others more than yourself. Especially when they were sick. You’d be worried if you were alive now, I think. I’m glad you’re somewhere you aren’t scared.

Anyway, I was sitting there drinking my coffee and I was transported back in time. First to the moment you first introduced me to coffee. I was so moved to tears by the taste and the memory that I posted about it on Facebook. Emily commented and I cried again. In between the tears and after them though, I hustled. You’d be so proud of me for that.

I wrote to my email list. It’s grown to 225 people now, which isn’t much but it’s a start. I don’t write to them nearly often enough, but I think I’m finding ways to get over the worry that I’m not being relevant. You know how I hate being bothersome and irrelevant! Anyway, I’m kind of dealing with that and I did email them today and I did lose two subscribers so far, but I’m remarkably okay with that – because I know I’m on the right track and it’s okay if people self-select away.

No, mom. I’m not just saying that. I’m really okay with that. I’m not sensitive like that anymore.

Anyway, I wrote and sent that and then I had lunch and then I had a shower and now I’m waiting for the phone to charge. OMG! Mom, you would not believe phones and what they can do these days. You thought email was cool. This is beyond, like way beyond, I can’t even explain.

I’m planning on going to the store to get a bottle of wine.

Yes, mom – I’ll practice social distancing and wash my hands and no, I won’t drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

I’m an adult now. I know that leads to the worst headaches in the morning. I don’t have time for headaches now.

Remember that one time when we were having coffee and you told me that when Bud died and you inherited the house you wanted to turn it into a respite home for pregnant teen girls? I’ve kind of taken that idea and transformed it into a different but bigger dream, one that honours both you and me. Obviously, you died before he did and you couldn’t make it happen, but I could carry it on like a torch, ya know?

I don’t know if I can make it happen, but I’m working towards it. Slowly.

See, what I make from this marketing and videography and coaching and speaking stuff.

Yes, I actually make money doing this.

I know, it’s really, really cool.

I mean it’s not tons of money, because I’m still learning and finding my way. But it’s some. And it’s growing.

The point is, what I make beyond what I need, is going towards the dream.

In my minds eye it’s a campground/resort where regular people come to camp and I can run retreats for families recovering from TAR. That’s Toxic Abusive Relationships. It’s what I call what we lived through. See, I just don’t know how to help teen girls the way you would have. Because that wasn’t what I lived. But TAR I get.

I found the perfect property on a real estate website. Of course, I don’t have the money to think about it now. But it exists. And for now that will do. I know I can find something that will work when I’m ready. But first I have to earn the deposit and make sure I keep working to repair my credit.

It went straight to the toilet after EX and I split. I am so glad you weren’t around when that went down. It was ugly. But that was almost 9 years ago now. I’m with the locksmith now. We’ll be getting married in 2021. Had to push the wedding back due to the virus and the fact that I’m still married to EX. I know, it’s been 9 years and with the lawyers since 2016, but I don’t understand law.

So there it is.

Here we are in the middle of a global pandemic and there’s a toilet paper shortage for no discernible reason I can figure out and we’re practicing self isolation and social distancing and coffee makes me think of you. It’s like I can feel you nudging me to do something.

So here I am. Doing something. What I’ve always done.

I’m writing.

I’m reaching out and trying to be of service. Just like you taught me. Not letting the what if’s stop me from doing my I can’s – and I’ve added some tricks – breathing and meditation and actually going outside. Not much, mind you. It’s still freaking cold out there. But spring is coming.

And soon, the locksmith and I will be moving into a new place with our little dog Hunnybear. You would have loved her beyond the moon. Adorbs to the max. Truly.

I guess that’s enough for now.

I hope you don’t mind – I’m going to publish this to my website as a blog post. I know, you wouldn’t have understood a bit of that, but trust me – you’d think it was cool. It’s going to be the beginning of a series of letters to you – keep you up with my life. The way I’ve been talking to you out loud all these years, but in written form – so I can share it.

I think it’s time to share your wisdom with the world…what do you think?

Always your girl,