An Open Letter

Dear Scott,

Yesterday morning I opened the blinds before our son woke up and the downtown of Dayton, Ohio was covered with fog. However, the moon was full and hanging high above the shroud. I looked and said something to you, like I used to. I saw you.

I said, hey, you.

I wish you had been here the last two and a half years to see the proud moments.

You would be very proud, and I believe you are, of your son, Ashton. He’s been through am awful lot for a five-year old. I am blessed, it seems, that regardless of my many failures I have three astounding children.

(Hey, did you ever think I would live in your Native Ohio? Yeah. Me, neither)

I believe if you were here it would be easier. You had a way  with taking care of things. We had some ups and some downs, but the last thing you ever did in your life for anyone, you did it for Ash and me. You took care of things right when we needed someone.

I have made things happen since your passing. My idea was to come here so Ashton could have a yard and a school and familial support and see what happened after Kindergarten. I was going to go to Chicago every 2-3 weeks for my oldest children.

When I decided to have Ashton, neither you nor I would have predicted any of this. The moment he was born, would I have looked at you and said, “There is a cell mutating in this child’s body, and soon”. No. I believe both you and I would have done things a lot differently had we known what was to come.

I keep erasing everything I write.

It’s a tender subject: our son’s illness.

I believe that you know how strong he is. I believe you would be shocked, actually, at his strength. I believe you would be in awe. I saw you yesterday looking down from up there by that big moon and I felt you in my heart and I transferred that love to Ashton, with a look and a kiss.

What prompted this letter was your paintings. I had such a vivid memory this morning of the woman looking out the window with the crooked buildings, and she, in a corset, and I remembered State Street in Chicago. I remember things being put in motion that could never, ever be put to rest. And, man, did I freak out.

Everything dawned on me. I woke up. And, it hurt. I don’t really know what I’m trying to convey here. I have a million things to tell you but not a million words. I just hope you know what’s in my heart and are, indeed, watching. And hope you can make it happen for us again. We really need this. We really need our son to survive.

None of us would survive if he did not.

Make IT Happen.


  1. Catherine Daniels

    Erin: This piece is so beautiful, and so terribly sad. I don’t know how you write so honestly. I am thinking really positive thoughts all day for Ashton. – Catherine (from Winnetka)

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