1/20/2018

Dear Stuart,

It's already tomorrow, but I'm just getting home. The Lynchian exhibit was fun, I'll have to tell you more over the phone. It was a story.

Today was another quiet day. Perseverance was the theme. It's what got my grandpa out of the house; after a few failed attempts of making our way for the door. It's what got us to church-- almost thirty minutes late-- but we got there. "Coraggio", he mumbled on the way. "Courage." It's the antidote to the indignity of old age. Well, maybe not the antidote, but the antiphon? I looked that word up.

Perseverance got us from church to my parent's house, where my mom was overcooking a pot roast in her new, automated crock pot. Perseverance was also the name of the crappy wine we drank, happily and in celebration. Crappy and overcooked; it was all good.

There's two ways to look at everything, everyone here keeps reminding me that. "Death is a reality," my Uncle Dino jovially told me over the phone today, "suffering is part of life."

There's two ways to look at everything. As we drove to church my grandpa admired the cotton candy sky. Pinks and purples and blues, it really was a sight above all the neon signs and salt-stained streets. "How could anyone believe there wasn't a God that made that," he marveled, maybe to himself, maybe to me. "I can't imagine."

Jenny Hollowell wrote this amazing short story titled The History of Everything, Including You. The final lines are:

"I will tell you this, standing on our hill this morning I looked at the land we chose for ourselves, I saw a few green patches, and our sweet little shed, that same dog was barking, a storm was moving in. I did not think of heaven, but I saw that the clouds were beautiful and I watched them cover the sun."

There's two ways to look at everything. There is pain, there is suffering, there is death. There is joy, there is adventure, there is life. They are both real, valid, and true. Today I saw the joy, the adventure and the life. Today I saw heaven in the clouds. I'm grateful for today, as I'll never have it again, and it was good.

I love you so much Stuart! Can't wait to hear what your yesterday brought!

Love,

Emily :)

PS- If you decide to read the rest of Jenny Hollowell's short story (not that you have to), I suggest listening to her recite it- I'm sure there's a recording on YouTube. It's fantastic.