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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Conversations With the Dead: 3/28/80, Seabrook, Texas


Dear Teresa,

Got your other letter finally. And I got the first one you wrote Tuesday night when I went to Toni's for a meeting. I'd put in a change of address card, but it still went there for some reason.

Honey, it's okay about you not wanting to come down, not remembering Sally and them, and not having traveled by yourself before. I just wish you'd told me that's what it was, because I would have understood. Remember how I told you I felt because we were always around someone else when we were together? I wouldn't have gotten half as upset if I'd known that was how you felt. So it's okay. Don't worry about it. It'll be better in July. And I'll have a phone by then, so there won't be any problem about me working nights. If you need me, all you'll have to do is pick up the phone. It'll all work out. I may even take a few days off, if I can. Play sick or something. I'm really looking forward to it. And I'll drive up and get you, and take you home. Okay? Mr. Charles will be glad to see you, too. You'll love him to death. He's so sweet and loving. And I hope I can get an apartment where there's a pool so you can go swimming when you want to.

Well, guess this is all for now. I can't believe Charlotte has done it again! I think she's nuts. So be sweet, and I love you gobs too.



Charlotte must be pregnant again, and she will do it once more after this baby is born which will make four. She is only twenty-three.

You will find a job at a Pilgrims cleaners and will move into an apartment complex about a block away. There will be a pool with a view of Galveston Bay. About thirty-one years into the future, your grandson (my second child) whom you will never meet, will move into these same apartments, renamed Encore. His name is Justin and he will turn twenty-two next week. He will have a degree in music this time next year. He writes songs and plays guitar, loves to fish, makes me laugh. You would love him. He would love you.

A part of me is glad my four children never knew you because they were spared the pain of losing you, of watching you self-destruct. But I wish you could see them, be as proud of them as I am. My little Victoria turned six last month. She wishes she had a grandmother. She asks me how you died. I tell her what I told my older two when they were little, that you took too many vitamins, then that you didn't take care of yourself. This must confuse her somewhat. When she is older I will explain suicide and she will read these letters to get to know you.

This letter is dated 3/28. Your youngest grandchild's birthday. He turned four this year. He is autistic. I can't decide how this would make you feel, what you would say to me as a comfort or if you would view Julian as a gift for having a unique perception of the world. His circumstances are both heartbreaking and breathtaking. Depends on the day, on my strength. But always I am crazy in love with him, the center of his universe, just as you were the center of mine.

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