To Luke and Chelsea, and anyone who has graced the pages of the things I write,
The first time I tried writing about my own life, L. told me he never knew how much of an impact he had on me. I remember thinking how could he never have known? I often wonder what kind of warped mirror I held up to you with that first failed attempt.
In God’s honest truth, I’m writing this letter because I miss you. I don’t know if my many failed attempts to talk to you over the past few years has shown that, but I mean it. It’s like a compulsion when I write you a letter or send a text or leave a voicemail. I’m not calling to get a quote. I’m not talking to you because I want to write about you. I’m writing about you because I want to talk to you.
But that well is tainted now isn’t it? It probably seems like you can’t say anything to me for fear it will end up in my next memoir or something. And for that, I am truly sorry.
I know you’ve made your own life without me. I’m happy for it. I have, too. It’s heartbreaking that I have to wonder if you feel any of the same stings of your absences that I do. I don’t want to trudge you through the past. And yes, every time I bring it up, I wonder why I’m the only one who can’t let go.
The thing is, I have though. I have forgiven, I have asked for forgiveness. These things that I write about, I don’t write about them to remind you of old scars. I write to pay homage to the special place you held in my life.
I’ll know why if you never read anything I write. I can only imagine what it’s like to be seen through the eyes of someone else. While you heal your wounds in your own way, this is how I heal mine. Just read the context between every line on the page, and know that the entire memoir says one thing, “You will always be in my heart.”
Sincerely, A Ghost from the Past