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My mother passed away unexpectedly at the end of January 2020 due to medical complications that resulted in a car crash. My family was devastated. She was just about to retire early, already poured her entire savings into a home in North Carolina and couldn’t wait to go by herself. She loved her grandson, my son, so much. She had already planned multiple flights to our home in NH just to spend time with him. She would come over at least every Wednesday to play with Alix so I could go out and do my thing. She was the kind of grandmother that built forts under our table. She immediately got on the ground and crawled to him when she walked in the door – no one else mattered – she would just yell “memmes here!” – she wanted to be called that. Hilarious to us at the time.

My mother and I had not been best friends but in the last year we started to grow back together for differences that no longer mattered. Which makes the loss of her even harder.

My mother had this way about her. She lived on her own, in her own house, and she was independent as they come. She was one of those people that saw something – and was like – I can do that. She laid heartwood floor in her house, kitsch floor, and knocked down walls.

She also was an artist with her hands. She saw furniture – that no lie- she would get from the dump and redo them into masterpieces. I have some in my home. Her most impressive work (in my opinion) was her stained glass. Again, something she saw and said to herself that she could do it – and did.

My parents divorced when I was an early teenager. No bad feelings at all. But this is when she started her stained glass. She made so much. And her talent just grew. So many of her friends and our family have works from her – and she never made a big deal of it.

When she first started, she made these harem stones- circular cement with stained glass – although far more advanced than anything you get at a craft store now a days. I made it with her. Helping her cut and sand the glass. It was a turtle, a design picked, my favorite.

I always had it with me. But it stayed inside. I had no yard to put it in but always loved having it in the rooms of my apartment.

My fiancé and I bought a home in Billerica MA in 2011. We spent over 5 years in that home. We built a little garden and I put the stone in there.

We sold the home in 2017 to move to NH. It was the winter – and I didn’t think anything of it, forgetting it was there beneath the snow. Had I known a few short years later I would lose her, I would have dug it out with my own bare hands.

When she passed, I told a few people, I had been thinking about going there to ask if they had it. But I assumed it was weird and if they didn’t, and threw it away, or it broke – how would I feel? I blissfully assumed that they were enjoying my mother’s talent and became okay with that. Not really thinking of it again over the next few months.

My best friend since high school. The most emotionally sensitive person I have met. She had dealt with numerous losses over the last few years. Including my mother and the death of our other good friends’ mother – who passed 18 days before mine did.

Despite all this, she wrote a letter to the new owners, explaining to them the significance of the stone and asked if they still had it. A few days later, she received a response that they did! And that they never touched it – it was weathered but intact.

Cyndi wasted no time. She drove there. And then drove to my house. This was during the COVID 19 craziness. She risked a stranger’s home and then to me.

She came into my driveway. I assumed she just wanted to come say hi – get some air. Quarantine is the worst and we hadn’t seen each other in a few months because of it. She was wearing a mask, and said she had something for me. I honestly assumed she stopped at a bakery and got me a coffee and a donut – which I would have been so thankful for.

Instead, she pulled out the stone and put it on the ground. My heart stopped. For a second I thought she made a duplicate.

Quickly realizing that it was the same. I gasped, cried ugly tears hysterically. We both did. Needing to stay apart and not embrace was so hard. The thoughtfulness and genuine love that I felt was too much.

It all came back – missing my mother. Yet also, how incredibly thankful I was for a friend like this. That would take a moment of her day, among her own grieving and during a pandemic to think of me – not just me – because it’s not as if she went online and sent flowers. She went so above and beyond. It was unexpected and unreal.

I cried for hours that day. So, did she. The swarm of love we both received – especially her – she deserves it and so much more – was unreal.

In the midst of loss and grief – You can find love and support through friends and family – cherish the people in your life who will take those extra steps, those extra leaps for your happiness. That’s the love that comes through. It’s the light in the darkness.

I knew that she was my forever friend and how much I loved her. But it is at another level now. A level I don’t know how to describe but I hope that everyone in their lives find.

-Jaime, New Hampshire

All Love Letters’ are pristine, posted as they were received. Please forgive any spelling and grammar issues, since the writing was done in the throes of love, and sometimes love doesn’t care about commas or misplaced letters.

Krysta Maravilla narrates Beyond Love

Being marvelous and being brave means you’re willing to believe in the wonder of who you are and take the risks you need to take to Bloom Breathe BE Be authentically YOU Break the mold Expand Evolve Flourish Grow Heal Fail Learn Live Thrive Transform Triumph Trust Succeed .