At my house in Seattle, I have an entire office to myself. This is a big luxury when you live in one of the fastest-growing, most expensive cities in America, so I'm very thankful to have the ability to spend money on myself like that.
In this room all to myself, I work on my writing. I'm still working toward my dream of one day publishing a novel. Having a quiet place to work is essential. In the room to myself I also practice yoga and read books and finish knitting projects and take naps. And my room is filled with things that are special and meaningful to me, like photos and journals and books I've read ten times.
On a shelf in this room, right where I can see it, is the rabbit figurine you gave me when I was a kid. Do you remember that? I used to get so excited to come see you - it was the highlight of my summer every year and I always hated to leave. You remember how I would cry and cry, just hating that I had to say goodbye to you. You gave me the rabbit so I'd think of you when we were apart and know that you love me.
Every time I see that figurine, I think of you - the way we played together, how I used to love watching you put on your makeup and thinking you were the most beautiful woman in the world. You still are. The way you asked if I was hungry approximately thirty times a day, and you always let me show off the same song or dance routine you'd just seen me do for the hundredth time.
I remember how, even though travel is hard, you made the effort to come visit us every year and even as I got older, I felt like you were always there for me - my graduation party, my college play, my wedding. Growing up far away from you was hard, but I never felt like you loved me any less than my cousins, who you saw far more often. I used to feel jealous of them because they got to be with you all the time - I still feel that way sometimes. Being away from the people you love is hard.
But from you, I learned that love isn't geographical, that it's the quality of the time we spent, not the quantity, that mattered most. You taught us all a lot of things and I admire so much about you - you have strength, determination, stubbornness, fortitude, beauty, love of life, devotion to family and a great sense of humor. Hopefully I am like you in some of these ways.
But the most important thing I learned from you was how to love - fiercely, loyally, and without judgment - and that you are always in the hearts of the people you love, even over spans of distance and time. You're never truly far away from the people who love you.
Thank you for loving me and supporting me and accepting me just as I am, as I have grown and changed. Every time I look at that rabbit figurine, I think of you, and I can hear you calling me "Precious" just like you're right next to me.