I thought I’d write you a little epistle, sweetheart. I wanted to let you to let you know how much you did for me, how you expanded my horizons, reoriented my goals, and just put some spice into my life. It was a great time while it lasted.
I want to thank you for all the help you gave me in keeping healthy. You know, some people my age go to the gym or some exercise center to keep in shape. Others head over to the mall almost every morning to walk around and around the place. You taught me one does not have to leave home to get exercise. Remember how you used to get me to draw those squares on the walk in front of your house. And then we hopped on one foot from one square to the other. Sometimes, you’d toss a beanbag into one of the squares and we’d have to skip that one.
Those were good times. I suppose now I would do well to remember that game. If I played it more often I’d be in so much better shape.
I also need to thank you for bringing out the artist in me. I never would have thought I could sculpture as well as you taught me. I remember that day sittinging at the table on your porch when you showed me how to transform that unshaped blob of Play Dough into a resemblance of a person. My artist creation was not as impressive as yours, but you told me it was pretty good.
I never achieved your proficiency in the arts, but I’m grateful you pulled a bit of an artist out of me.
And then there was the goal setting. I had always thought of myself as being one who always strove to achieve a higher level. You taught me I had not set my goals high enough. I remember that day so vividly. We were at the playground down the street from my house. We were on the swing set, beside each other. I was content to just swing with you, to pass the day. You pointed out to me that we could reach higher. And then you suggested we reach even higher. You informed me that if enough effort were put into it we could stretch out our legs and maybe touch the sky with our toes. You were obviously not limited by the length of the swing’s chain.
You turned me into a philosopher when you discussed thing with me, such as: “What is time?” and “How can you prove tomorrow will come?” You put forth religious suppositions that not even the most learned theologian could fault, statements as: “God is absolutely too big to fit in a church.”
Now, I realize it’s over. Your big sister couldn’t pick you up at Kindergarten the other day. Her car was in the shop. I volunteered. I knew the times I’ve described above had come to an end when you turned the corner and saw me standing there. You stopped. You studied me. Then, you said, “I like it better when my sister picks me up.”
Graduation from kindergarten is only a few months away. You’re entering the world of your older sisters and cousins. Do me a favor. Continue being an artist; continue reaching for the sky and pondering the unanswerable. And once in a while remember those times you taught me so much.