Update: This post is my attempt to poke fun at myself for tending to let my evil imagination take over when there are gaps in communication that are longer than I think they should be. All is well in my world really.
This post is for my favorite son, commonly known to the blog world as Gep. It is an open letter, more or less, containing confessions of things I can no longer hide.
Sitting here in the dark of the night, with only the lights on the Christmas tree to guide me through that dark, there are some things I must share with you. It is not good to keep secrets, they say, and I am finding it is eating me up, the hiding things from you. The plotting, the planning, the scheming. You see, we conspire, your sister and I, as we sit by the fire, we conspire.
We share secret worries of you, up there in the middle east, that part of the world being torn apart, being bombed by my country and others. You are not in the thick of things, thankfully. But you are close. And when you are silent, we worry, your sister and I. As we conspire by the fire, we worry. When you say you might not make it home for Christmas – but you always make it home for Christmas! – so why not this year? And then we do not hear from you, why are you silent? Why do we not hear words of reassurance, letting us know you are safe?
We conspire to worry. By the fire, we conspire. We have you in the tunnels of Tikrit, kidnapped by a terrorist. We have you captive in those tunnels, being waterboarded, tortured beyond imagination, as they try to gather from you the secrets of teaching the young.
Or maybe, in your zeal to capture on film (digital, of course) the Red Bull sailing contests, you have fallen into the sea from the Red Bull sailboat, and no one has noticed, being too intent on managing the sails to win the race. You have fallen into the sea, never to be retrieved again.
We conspire to face unafraid – yet we are afraid. Afraid you have been buried in the sand by those evil people, the people who cannot deal with your success as a teacher, a photographer, a world traveler. Your silence drives us mad. It drives us to conspire, as we sit by the fire. And we do not face unafraid.
And so, when your words appear in our email boxes, we sigh. We sigh in relief. We know now you are safe. You are not in the tunnels of Tikrit, or the seas off Muscat in the Strait of Hormuz, you are not being tortured, waterboarded, beaten in the hopes of retrieving your secrets for capturing your students, teaching them all they will need to know as they move into the next year of their studies. We know you are safe, only busy making changes to your life, getting things in order.
Now, at rest and in fear no longer, we still conspire, as we sit by the fire. “How do we get him home for Christmas? He is always home for Christmas.” We plot, we contrive, we hope.
We conspire. If only we really had a fire in front of which to conspire. But we can now face unafraid, those plans that we made – and we will walk in this winter wonderland. Unafraid. Knowing that if you are not here at Christmas with us, to conspire in front of the fire, you will be here in our hearts.
Love you, your mom and your sister (who has had no opportunity to defend herself in this confession).