“There are so many lost souls here.”

I was digging for my social security card when it happened. I found it, in an old purse. The letter from my brother.

You see, I did my taxes today, 4/4, just shy of when they are due, per the usual. But I couldn’t find my school tax form and because they sent it to me, I can’t just reprint it. No. I have to fill out this form in addition to a copy of my social security card, they need a photo ID, blah blah blah. Fine, no problem.

But I didn’t know where my social security card was, so I started digging.

But the letter, oh the letter. Immediately I knew what it was, that it was one of the more recent ones, that it would tear my heart open in the best way. When Andy was good, God, he was the absolute best. You’ve never seen a bigger, whiter smile or felt a more loving hug. And I knew this letter would be just that.

I will always remember you this way!

The absolute freaking best.

Sure, there are some complaints in there, but that was just Andy’s way.

The thing is, I just thought about him on my way home from my errands and taxes, no more than 30 minutes ago. Not that it’s anything new. He is on my mind all the time.

I’m just missing him, or I am thinking of all the could have’s, but today, I was thinking about my need to heal. I haven’t even tried and truth be told, I haven’t looked at one text from Andy, I haven’t listened to one saved voicemail, though I have several, I’m sure. I threw out every one of his letters too, post-divorce. So this one was truly an answered prayer.

I was praying about it in the car. Praying for strength and to have a peace with God’s plan. But it was a rough prayer sesh for me, I was sad and feeling like I didn’t do enough. And then, the letter.

“I have to thank you again for everything; your support through my whole messed up adult life has been more beneficial to me than you may ever know. And the thought of your support and kind words and thoughts help me on a daily basis.” His words, to me.

I am crying reading them again, typing them. Thank you for your words, Andrew, right when I needed them.

He read a lot, too, back then. He liked the Buddhist way and would teach me through his words. He told me he was reading his usual “Buddhism Liturgy” and a lot of self-help books, even though they are corny. He quoted “to appreciate the idea that the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are.”

He said he liked it. That he wanted to “stay busy” and “surround himself with positive people no matter what.” That, too, is super hard to read and type. God, I miss you.

(Talking of prison life) he wrote that, “Another quote which I liked but cannot find goes something like, “Either teach them or learn to bear them,” by Marcus Aurelius.

He also talked of being denied a visit from my Dad due to a new metal plate in his knee. He called it ‘bogus’ in his very Andy-like way and said he hoped Dad was coming home from up north and that he hadn’t wasted the drive. He talked about the weather, and urged me forward with work saying “Best wishes with all of your work endeavors, I hope you can sustain yourself doing what you enjoy.”

He said he wished to do some volunteer work, that it would make him feel good to help people.

He closed with that shoutout to me that I shared at the beginning. I am still crying writing this, it goes between happy and sad tears, and a gratefulness that I found this letter, which I will forever cherish.

That’s all for now. If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for reading. This hasn’t been edited and I’m about to post it. This is as raw and real as it gets, haha.

God bless you XOXO