Ten years

Dear Dan,

Sometimes it seems like a minute; sometimes it seems like 100 years. I miss you as much as ever. I look back over the past ten years and wonder: how different would life be if you were still in it?

Mom would still have dementia, but probably not quite as far along as she is. The stress of your death accelerated the process. I probably would not be living with her yet, so more of my sanity would be intact. I would have more freedom to travel, even overnight.

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Christmas past

One of my fondest Christmas memories took place in my early teen years. The whole family was in my parents room watching TV one Christmas Eve. I kept hearing this noise in the next room. It sounded like we had a mouse. I mentioned it, but no one else had heard it.

A few minuets later, I heard it again. Again, no one heard it. The third time it happened, I got up to investigate. My brother Scott said he heard it and it was bats in the attic. Unlikely, I said. Bats hibernate in the winter. Even if there were any up there at this time of year, they would be asleep. I did what any self-respecting, bat-loving little sister would do. I demanded he prove it.

Scott, being certain I would chicken out, started to head to the attic stairs. Mom, being certain I wouldn’t chicken out, told Scott not to take me up there because I might get hurt.

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