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You’re a Firework

Dear Cayleigh:

You leave today. I told myself I wouldn’t cry.

I lied to myself. I couldn’t stop the flow. Since you came along almost 10 years ago, I could always pop in the car and see you whenever I wanted. You lived just across the river. It wasn’t far. Now, I wish I’d made a double dose of that drive. A triple dose. I never should’ve taken the closeness of giggling with you for granted.

Especially now that I don’t have its warming beacon in my world.

You’re somewhere in Georgia now. Maybe Alabama. On your way to Baton Rouge. Lots of cool experiences await you. Don’t hold yourself askance. When you’re scared to death, fight that fear. Experience all the nuanced richness of life. Embrace its flavors and textures, its colors and its hues. Do those things, even when facing them or leaving them brings you to tears.

Part of living is leaving every single thing we care about behind someday. It’s letting things go when it rends our souls. It’s forging something new in the daunting disarray of what’s left. It’s knowing that people love you, even if they can’t see you every day.

Until October, when I see you again. Be a firework in your world, Cayleigh.

I love you.

Andra

43 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beautiful piece of writing Andra.

    July 16, 2012
    • Thanks, Helen. I thought it would get my final tears out……nope. 😦

      July 16, 2012
  2. What a sweet post. Sorry that Cayleigh is leaving. It’s love, even in leaving, that makes us stronger and life sweeter.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    July 16, 2012
    • It isn’t always easy to remember that in the thick of it, Kathy, but it’s true when the smoke clears. πŸ™‚

      July 16, 2012
  3. Sad, she is such a sweet kid.

    July 16, 2012
    • She has a pool in her new neighborhood. With her mermaid costume, she will be fast friends with everyone in one visit.

      July 16, 2012
  4. Very cool. Looks like such a sweet girl. And you too. Don’t forget you can Skype each other. Or better yet, have Google Hangouts. You could do tandem cooking and such. She can give you a live tour of her new home.

    But still, distance is hard. Especially when you can’t see through all that hair.

    July 16, 2012
    • Cayleigh won’t be on Google for a while, I suspect. But she is on Face Time. We’ve already talked about doing those once she’s settled.

      The hair was her idea. I just went along. πŸ™‚

      July 16, 2012
  5. awwww so sweet, brought a tear to my eye this morning. Hugs to both of you.

    July 16, 2012
  6. For sure you’ll miss Cayleigh. And she’ll miss you. But as Carnell points out, Skype and hangouts can help with that. And with this move, Cayleigh will learn that the best thing about friendship is that it can endure despite distance. That’s a very important life lesson.

    Thanks for letting your love for her shine through this morning.

    July 16, 2012
    • If it can only endure the teenage years……. πŸ™‚ Then, we will be gold.

      July 16, 2012
      • Because she is reasonable now, she’ll probably be a reasonable teen. Everybody told me how horrid the teen years were going to be when my boys reached that time. While I acknowledge that my friends had harder times with their daughters, my sons were not too difficult to manage/live with during their teens. They did sleep more, eat more, and respond less, but still and all they were good fellas. I had to nag a bit on homework with #1, but then, I’d always had to nag about homework with him.

        July 17, 2012
      • I’m just afraid I won’t be as cool in a few years. We’ll see.

        July 17, 2012
  7. Oh my GOD a letter from one firework to another. How sweet.

    July 16, 2012
    • I don’t much feel like a firework today, but I’m glad I’m coming through as one. πŸ™‚

      July 16, 2012
      • Well, in general. You’re sad and scared today. And that’s OK, too.

        July 16, 2012
      • I’m just bereft. But, I’m also very resilient. πŸ™‚

        July 16, 2012
  8. Beautiful. Heart breaking. Heart lifting.

    July 16, 2012
  9. Jill Clary Stevenson #

    There is Skype but you write so beautifully, you should send her a hand written letter every once in a while. Not only would she have a tangible reminder of you, she could also pick up writing skills as she gets older. You could send her some really nice stationery and stamps and start a pen pal relationship. I have letters I’ve saved from many years ago and find great pleasure in re-reading them. Letter writing is a dying art and preserving it for a future generation would be a real service to Cayleigh. And, missing the teen years will be a good thing – take it from someone who is going through it right now (and I have a boy!).

    July 16, 2012
    • She is quite a writer. She pens excellent stories. Maybe I can convince her to do a mix, some face time, some writing. πŸ™‚

      July 16, 2012
      • Amber Deutsch #

        I know that my girls treasure the postcards you send. Well, one treasures them, the other gnaws on the corner and drools. I am sure Cayleigh would love to get an occasional letter, as Jill mentioned.

        July 16, 2012
      • I’m glad Marlowe is using them for teething. πŸ™‚ Think of what those will mean someday, if they are salvageable when she’s done. πŸ™‚

        July 16, 2012
  10. This is so sweet and wonderful, Andra. Beautiful. Let the tears flow and know that this is just the beginning of something different.

    July 16, 2012
    • But no less special. πŸ™‚

      July 16, 2012
      • Definitely no less special. πŸ™‚ I was trying to say that, but couldn’t get the words out. πŸ˜›

        July 16, 2012
  11. The Good Luck Duck #

    AW!

    You’re right. There’s nothing more constant in life than leaving and being left.

    July 16, 2012
    • I should just get me an RV and do my own leaving. That way, I’d almost never be left. πŸ™‚

      July 16, 2012
  12. Oh Andra, I feel for you. Missing someone can be a physical sensation. It yawns. May the time fly until you see Cayleigh again. The glory of being human is that each of us is utterly irreplaceable.

    July 16, 2012
    • And, the glory of living is that it throws us these curves and forces us to move on.

      July 16, 2012
  13. Emily Guess #

    I am still crying but we will all see each other soon.

    July 16, 2012
    • I’m happy to see you any time, and we can cry together.

      July 16, 2012
  14. Oh Andra…my heart actually does hurt for you AND for Cayleigh! You are a loss to her, too. But I’m totally confident your relationship will take on a new and very special sweetness that endures. Years ago I read the book, “Necessary Losses,” by Judith Viorst…it somewhat changed my life. She outlines what you’ve also said in this post. From the moment we are born we experience loss…it’s an eloquent read and I won’t try to summarize. πŸ™‚ I cry when I leave my friends, and I cry even harder when they leave me! Hugs…Debra

    July 17, 2012
    • I’m better today, Debra. It’s one day at a time through these things, as you know from your own experiences. Everyone has them. It always pings a little more when they’re yours.

      July 17, 2012
  15. This may be my favorite Cootchie post since I started reading your blog.

    This paragraph is a summation of my life of moving and being away from so many family members and friends:

    Part of living is leaving every single thing we care about behind someday. It’s letting things go when it rends our souls. It’s forging something new in the daunting disarray of what’s left. It’s knowing that people love you, even if they can’t see you every day.

    July 17, 2012
    • Thanks for letting me know it spoke to you. It isn’t always easy to be vulnerable in public. πŸ™‚

      July 17, 2012
  16. angela #

    a lovely letter…if she were not so young, i’d guess the first picture was you two twenty years ago head banging, ha! ~

    July 18, 2012
  17. Man, that is one cute kid! Sounds like you have a great relationship; that’s a lovely letter of advice.

    July 19, 2012

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