On July 4, 2001, I watched my son take his very first breath. Five years later, almost to the very hour, I watched my stepfather take his last. There are many things that I could say about my stepfather but there isn't any easy or concise way to explain what he meant to me. So, I thought I would share a letter that he wrote to me on my 30th birthday. I hope the letter will show you the kind of man he was and the kind of love he showed us all. August 31, 1998

Hi Vikki

I know you don't wish to hear about it but that dreaded "30" has crept up on you just as it did with us all! Anyway, Happy Birthday with all my thoughts and love just for you!

As a stepfather, I reflect back to many, many happy thoughts of you as a small girl, the things we did together. I can still see you clearly fighting to get up on a pair of little red skis. Oh, how you cried, "I can't do this!" The lake went up about a foot from all those tears! Then, a few years later, I was so proud of you when you skied slalom. You were so determined then as you are now!

Another time, we went car shopping for your first car and came upon that very ugly duckling you named Freddy Fiat. You said, "I can't drive a clutch. I can't drive a stick shift". But, we went down on Swartz Road one evening and you drove and drove until you mastered the stick shift. This brought on even more tears.

Then came the day Mom and I drove you to a college in far away Iowa. We took all of your worldy possessions into your dorm and made small talk before letting you off by the library. We said our goodbyes and you said, "I'll be fine". As we drove off, I looked in the rear view mirror to see you walk away and, now, I can tell you it was my turn to have tears in my eyes!

As always, you have been determined to complete what you set out to do and I am sure more tears came with the struggle. I can only hope the next thirty plus years are as kind to you as they have been to me and that you will have as many good memories of the past as I have.

All my love,





Susan Raffo said...
We just finished watching fireworks in the park. Miguel is having a sleepover - he and Luca just settled down in sleeping bags and I'm hoping they can fall asleep over all of the bangs and crashes taking place outside. Miguel doesn't know yet. He just misses you. He almost didn't want to sleep over for missing you and Luisa. They are going to head down to you tomorrow or Thursday and you will go through that really strange ritual of a memorial, when you start to try and adjust to the loss of someone in your life. You are all so deeply in our hearts. I am glad I knew Les. I am glad for how awake you all were these last few weeks. I am glad you were there. I am sorry he is gone.

8:47 PM

Kristin said...
That was perfect Vikki, just perfect.

7:25 AM

Anonymous said...
it is amazing when we are where we are where we need to be at these times.... sending peace & love Darn i wish i would have known those rascals were up and just a few doors down....Happy Birthday Miguel leigh

9:00 AM

sarah g said...
*what a beautiful memorial* i am glad you were able to be there. thinking of you, and yours, and sending thoughts of peace.

12:15 PM