Letter to Gracelyn

My dearest Gracelyn~

You are the most beautiful, loveliest, smartest, wisest, kindest, funniest person that I know.  And the fact that you are my daughter is simply delicious.  Spending each and every day with you is a joy.  I could not imagine my life any other way.  I thank the Goddess, the Universe, the Great Spirit, the Great Mystery, everything there is to thank that I am lucky enough to be your mother.  To be your guide on this journey here on Earth.  

I treasure our time together.  I treasure our relationship.  I sincerely hope that as we move forward on our shared journey, the relationship we share will continue to grow and flourish.

As your mother, I am keenly aware of the passing of time.  That is no secret to you.  I have tried to not be too melancholy about the speed with which you have grown up.  I have tried to make sure that you know just how very much I would not trade one single second of ‘now’ for any day or moment in the past.  It has all been a wondrous treat, each successive day outdoing the ones that have been put to bed.  

All of this being said, I think that both you and I are faced with the difficulties of acknowledging the passage of time, the changing of the seasons if you will.  We know but we don’t want to know that everything is marching on, forcing us to let go to make room for what is to come.  Letting go is so very, very hard isn’t it?  Letting go of things, tangible objects, as we grow out of them, or they become old and frayed.  Letting go of seasons as the winter and snow move to spring and then to summer and then to fall.  Only to start all over again.  Letting go of old friends, like our very dear Buck.  And soon Belle.  

Life is a series of letting-gos, isn’t it?  It is a constant snapping to attention of our conscious thought that we need to sever a tie or ties.  That we need to move on, move forward, move upward.  We need to make room for what is to come, for the bright, bold splashes of color just waiting to be experienced.   We need to live without attachments so that we may be unencumbered to receive the bounty that this world has to offer.  

It is my duty, my job, my responsibility as your mother to help you learn how to let go.  To help you learn how to move forward without difficulty.  To greet each new change in your life, in our lives, with open arms, a willing heart and a happy soul.   

For a while now, we have danced around the edges of some necessary letting-gos.  Both of us, I think, not eager to meet them head-on for fear of what that might mean.  Or what that might look like.  How it might change our experiences going forward.

I have avoided answering the unasked questions for as long as possible, not knowing how to say what needs to be said.  But I’m no longer comfortable with avoidance and I’ve had to think carefully about what words I should use.

I also am acutely aware that I want to be the one to whom you come when you need help, when you need a problem solved, when you have a question that needs answering.  This means the hard ones as well as the easy ones…..I don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing which one I’ll try to solve.  I need to be there for all of them.

Why am I writing all of this you may be thinking at this point.  Truth be told, I’m stalling.  Sometimes I can say it better with the written word, but now I’m not so sure. 

You are concerned about celebrating Easter.  Not so much because we are a very religious family and we believe in the Christian version of the holiday and you are excited that Lent will finally be over and Jesus will rise from the dead.  But more because of a big, slightly irreverent bunny rabbit with an Australian accent that will deposit loads and loads of chocolate in this household.  Correct?

Which is a wonderful reason to be excited, I do agree.  Chocolate is perfection.  Right up there with coffee.

I’m sure you’ve picked up on my hesitation, my reluctance.   But I also know that you are very, very smart and have danced around the asking as well as I have danced around the answering.  

“Are you the Easter Bunny?”  That is a question that all children eventually ask their parents?  Just like “are you Santa?”  

The answer is not simple, actually.  Because really, I am not Santa.  Nor am I the Easter Bunny.  Or the Tooth Fairy.  Or Jack or the Sandman.  There is no one Santa.  No one Easter Bunny.  

These Guardians are bigger than any one person.  Their work has gone on longer than any of us have lived.  What Santa and his friends do is simple, but it is powerful.  They teach children how to believe.  How to believe in something that can’t be seen or touched.  How to believe in magic.

Both you and I know how very important magic is, how very important it is to believe in things we cannot see.   To believe that the Universe is holding a message for us when one of our Animal friends crosses our paths.  Or when we sense the Thin Moments, those places that Celtic beliefs describe as passages to the other worlds.  

Magic is believing in things you cannot see.   Christmas is magic.  You and I have experienced this from the beginning.  Long before you were trying to get born into this existence of yours, I loved Christmas.  I adored the Christmas season.  The lights, the music, the smells, the tree, the decorations, the finding the perfect gifts to give, the baking.  All of it.  It’s all magic to me.  Then I had a sweet little angel baby doll that I could teach all the same magic to.  The Universe blessed me with you!  On the Winter Solstice no less, intensifying the sheer joy of the season.  Santa is simply one part of the magic of the Christmas season.  

We all need to have magic in our lives.  We need to be able to believe in something that we cannot see or touch.  Maybe that is the miracle of Santa and Pete and the Bunny and all the other Guardians.  They are the beginning of our belief in the magic that is all around us.  We must be able to convince ourselves that even if something can’t be held in our hands or measured, it still exists.  Like love.  Or  the belief in yourself that you are everything you need to be at any given moment.  

I have been the person who helps the magic get done.  Just like you and your magic tricks.  I have been the magician who fills the stockings and wraps the presents and hides the eggs.  (Yes, Dad helps. 🙃)  Just like my mother and father did for me.  And their mothers and fathers did for them.  Perhaps you will someday be the magician for your own children (or Bella’s).   The real magic for me has been seeing the joy and discovery on your face at these special times.  

But this doesn’t make me Santa.  And it won’t make you Santa, or the Easter Bunny either.  Because, as I wrote above, Santa and the rest of the Guardians are bigger than any one person.  Santa and the Bunny and the Guardians are love and magic and hope and happiness.  I’m just helping to facilitate their message.  

The miracle of Christmas and the Winter Solstice and Easter are not in what we get or in what we see, but what we feel and imagine and in what we give to create more love and magic and hope and happiness around us.  Your feelings of Christmas or Easter or the Winter Solstice are yours, to hold in your most cherished place and wrap them up with pretty paper and a colorful ribbon and bow.  To store your hopes and dreams and magic in, to be shared with those around you, to be given out to bless someone else’s life with.  That is the true meaning of these holidays I think.  To make them so magical and so beautiful and so filled with joy and traditions and smells and sights and sounds that we want to share as much as we can with others.  To give that magic and beauty and joy away to others.  

By letting go of some of our childhood beliefs, we make room for other beliefs.  We allow new and different magic to flood in and fill up the space.  It doesn’t mean we won’t celebrate these times and days and seasons as before.  We’ll still have the magic.  It’s just that we’re moving along in our journey to the next stop.   It means that I don’t have to avoid looking you in the eye for fear I’ll give something away.  It means I don’t have to worry about spoiling your magic, because we’ll be creating new joys and adventures.

I will still fill your stocking and hide your eggs.  I consider myself on the Guardians team and it has been my greatest joy to do so.  You are on the Guardians team too now.  I figure it’s our job to make sure that the brilliance of the magic is never dulled, that those around us can be reminded of it always.  

Sort of like the Force, you know?  It’s all connected my dearest.  The tapestry of our lives is woven through with silver and gold iridescent threads.  If we are quiet, calm and still we will be blessed and able to see these wondrous strands.  It is our sacred duty to share that lustre with those we meet along the way, to pass on the magic.

We will still have all we have had at these special times.  It’s just that now you’ll be more a part of the magic.  Learning how to create and give and make things special.  We’ll still bake cookies and dye eggs and decorate and watch movies.  We’ll revel in the magic of all that life has to offer at these special times.

I love you with every fiber of my being.  I am so very proud of the person you are, the person you’re becoming, the person you are yet to be.  

I love you to the moon and back, my dearest Gracelyn Cassidy.



(aka Guardian Team Member)

About madranchwife

Mother, Mad Ranchwife(as in--at times-- crazy, nutso, loco, off-my-rocker insane), Veterinarian, Physical Therapist, "Liberal, pinko, gay-loving, Subaru-driving Socialist" (as I've been called), proud to be a totally tree-huggin', climate change believin', granola girl environmentalist, ObamaGirl, Pro-Choice (don't even get me started here...), and in my younger days a feminist vegetarian as a result of time spent at CU Boulder (this lasted approximately 14 months, until all the Jimmy Buffett I was listening to caused me to crave a cheeseburger). #FindingMyVoice #ScienceMatters
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2 Responses to Letter to Gracelyn

  1. Gwen says:

    You have brought me to my knees again. (Last time when you lost Buck). This hits so close to home for me right now even though my daughter is in mid-40’s and not speaking to me at the moment…….still my daughter. You really need to publish this my friend. I am going to share with my daughter and my daughter-in-law (Mother of my beautiful granddaughter). I want them to know why they love coming here for Christmas and why Dan and I work so hard to keep the magic of the holidays. It is the smells, the tireless hours of wrapping, decorating, baking, meal planning, and then Undecorating that makes every effort so worth it. Thank you for sharing.

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