My Dearest Bobby,
I just found these amazing confetti T-Cells you used to make for me. When I’d hear the hole-puncher clicking and you’d come out to help me sprinkle them on my head my heart would beam. They’d “hug my cells the way moons hug planets,” you explained. One time when I asked you to be careful not to sprinkle them on my bad cells, you said “you gotta love all your cells, Mom, especially the bad ones.” I didn’t think you understood how terrible those cells were. Tonight I’m realizing that I was the one who didn’t understand that just because something is bad doesn’t mean it can’t become good. I’ve learned that remission is just bad cells learning that they are hurting their host.
I’ve tried so hard to find the words to tell you how wise I think you are. I need to share some great news with you. How do you tell a boy who is your baby, that he is your hero? I realize it’s not through words at all. I just bought the ingredients to make the pies you’ve been wanting to make together to share with strangers. This is such a perfect way to celebrate that today’s full moon marks my first official year of remission! Let’s go share our happiness with the world, under the gravity of the hugging moon.
All my Love,
As the writer of the Giant Letters, my job is to take stock of the people and events that have carried some weight over the course of a year, and to weave them all into a one-page story that hopes to offer emotional healing and transformation to its readers. I’ve been hesitant to share what inspires the letters, as the stories behind them are often difficult, but as violence and apathy surge in our world, I feel that creating an emotional context for discussion around it is key to our social healing. I want to offer a trigger warning for the dedications below, as the content touches on difficult topics such as cancer, the loss of children and parents, abuse, and suicide. - Caro
After my friend, Colin passed away in 2005, I met his mother, Freya, and her husband, Per. Per had impeccable style and sophisticated humor, which often bubbled up in authentic joy. Housed in the dignified demeanor and confidence of a 60+ year-old man, Per somehow housed the unfiltered joy and energy of a child. He and Freya found each other a little later in life, but were without question, meant to find each other in this lifetime. We dedicate this letter, in part to Per and in honor of our friend, Freya.
I didn’t know Lindsay well. We had met once at a coffee shop in Rogers Park where we discussed our mutual interest in making art accessible to people who might be intimidated by the arts. We were friends on Facebook and I enjoyed it when she would mention her daughter who she had adopted from Romania. I had dated a Romanian and had been to Romania myself. I loved any opportunity to be reminded of it.
When Lindsay had a heart attack and then a stroke, I felt for her daughter and wished I could help more. Lindsay was later diagnosed with cancer. She survived, but it came back … then back again.
She and her daughter were very much in my heart as was writing the 2019 Giant Letter and Lindsay was preparing her daughter for life without her. On July 4th 2020, Lindsay passed away. I hope the letter helps give her family a sense of connection to her memory.
Photo Credit: http://www.seriouslybadasswomen.com/lindsay-obermeyer