Middle Name Mag - Monday, May 16, 2016 

Hi, it's me.


I just wanted to write to tell you that I’ve made a horrible mistake and I’m sorry. For the most part of the past couple of years, I have regarded the beautiful anthology of stories and love you have collected for me as a car manual as opposed to the fairytale which you describe to me as the best sixteen years of your life. You carried these memories like prized medals, and I wore them like pieces of string messily tied around my fingers. Now your medals have faded from age and my strings are starting to unravel due to my lack of upkeep, and I have realized that I might never forgive myself if I let this part of our lives disappear. When people ask me where I come from I want them to know that this is it. So, from me to you, I think our story is worth telling.


I don’t remember when you moved to be here with us. Maybe because I wasn’t alive yet, maybe because I’d like to believe that I was special enough for you to shoot yourself however many miles down south to be with me. Regardless, I’m sure that Auntie Marian threw a fit, probably assuming that you chose Conner and me over her kids. The thing I do know for sure is that you were here when I popped into the world on June 18th. I can see you standing next to the hospital bed holding me in your nimble hands, calloused from countless hours performing extensive surgery. I’d like to think that you said something reverent and beautiful, and knowing you, there is no scenario where you did not thank God or my parents, or maybe even me, for allowing Grace Eliene Olson to be a part of your life. I didn’t understand this part of you for a long time, the part that was endlessly gracious and grateful. Perhaps I was too young and self-absorbed to comprehend the beauty of your selflessness. I wish that I could go back to that hospital room and respond in kind, whisper in your ear how lucky I am to have you, but you can never go back, only forward.


- grace eliene



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