Dear newly-30-year-old Deb, writer of the letter just below this one,
My, were you cute! Not as cute as on your first birthday, of course, but you had at least one adorable misconception in your 30th birthday letter.
You’d finished editing your first novel? Really? I love you, but it’s a good thing your slightly-older self has more sense than enthusiasm!
Well, once in a while, anyway.
Most of the other stuff stands as written. In fact, you’ll be delighted to learn that the thanks and love you wrote about below will not only grow but redouble. You’ll meet new people, offline and online, reacquaint yourself with lost friends and create a whole new human being who will show you just how completely and deeply you can love, no matter how broken you felt in the past.
You will also, by the way, actually finish editing your first novel. You’ll publish it because you feel that doing so is an important part of honoring your mom, and you’ll be right.
You’ll write another novel, which will be much better than anything that preceded it on account of your lack of desire to spend another 6,000 hours editing entire chapters that shouldn’t have been written in the first place.
You will still get stuff wrong, but you’ll get some stuff right, too.
You’ll lose to cancer the mom who used to call you her “best birthday present ever,” and you’ll struggle for a long time after her death to make peace both with yourself and the hardships of her life.
Ultimately, you’ll come to understand that your mom’s presence is most strongly with you when you remember her with laughter instead of sorrow. You’ll hold your own baby and understand death is no reason to stop celebrating life.
I should’ve prefaced this all with a spoiler alert, huh? My bad!
You probably won’t read this anyway.
But you know what? I still love you.
And it just keeps getting better.
You, three years after your 30th birthday email
—– Original Message —-
From: Deborah Lea
To: Deborah Lea
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 1:25:25 AM
Subject: Birthday #30
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