Linda’s eldest daughters came to visit me this summer. This was the first time in my adult life where I had family visit me. We spend 3 lazy months together – getting to know one another, sifting through family photos, laughing together, and having the time of our lives. During their stay, I got re-acquainted with D.C., the museums, the Zoo, and all of the amazing things that this wonderful city has to offer. I saw it again for the first time through their eyes, and it reminded me so much of when I first arrived. I was in awe of the beautiful streets lined with green trees and beautiful rowhouses with uncompromising grandeur standing tall and proud throughout the city. I love D.C. I remember telling you how much I loved this city, and I had hoped so much that you would come to visit me. I even remember planning your visit. I was going to take to you the museums, walk around Dupont Circle, sip coffee at the bookstore/cafe, walk into Adams Morgan – there were so many things I wanted to share.
I remember when I moved here, it was June 1983. You were not happy that I was leaving – you hardly said a word. You even decided to move into a different apartment (a smaller one) in defiance of my departure. Deep down inside I know that you understood I had to leave, and you understood that I needed to start a life of my own. It was really very difficult for both of us, but especially you — I knew this.
I could tell how hard it was for you through the words you would not say. I think ultimately you felt that through my departure, your youngest daughter moving out, that you had no one else and that your world was empty. In reality this was not true, I was still here for you – just not in the same place.
One year later, in June 1984, you were gone. I had previously purchased a plane ticket for August 19th to visit you. I guess you couldn’t hold on any longer. I am sorry about that. I wish you would have told me that things were so bad, but I guess you didn’t want to burden me. I know now that you were struggling. I was young, and it didn’t occur to me that things would end up this way. How could I have known? I was only 21.
I miss you.