WILDER'S WHOLE WORLD: A letter to my mom

By Dwayne Wilder
Special to the Herald Democrat

Dear Mom:

It’s been two years since I’ve written; and a lot has happened—I mean ‘A LOT!’

Much has happened in our family especially with your grandson, Ryan, but the news of the day is the pandemic. We have spent almost these entire two years fighting it; and there are still variants out there. This respiratory disease is deadly, but we’ve developed a vaccine and maybe a pill to help fight it. Now, if everyone would just accept the science…

Back to the family: Ryan has been busy! He bought a house, graduated from college, started a career job and oh, yes, he got married! Somehow, he did all of this during a pandemic. To say, I’m proud is the understatement of the pandemic! He has become a young man you would be proud of as well. He diligently worked on his degree; and earned a spot at work from an internship. Those would be great accomplishments all by themselves, but no, he went ahead and fought through the world at large and the financial institutions of housing to get that great starter home.

Oh, yeah, and he married a great young woman who you would adore to the ends of the earth. I truly wish you could have met her. She was a toddler at the time of your death, but I’m sure she had that wonderful personality and spirit she has now back then. They make a wonderful couple! Everyone is so happy for Ryan and for them.

I could write about Ryan for pages and pages; he has been a bright spot in a world of woe for years now. Just looking at him brings joy to my soul; I know his journey and how he has traveled it. He has kept his soul intact during this transition process into adulthood. I see a strong future for him and his bride. We don’t get to see him as much, of course, but every time we do, it is greatness.

I continue to write some and work with special needs children. It is satisfying work and the kids make me smile (most of the time!). I am working on stories I want to do; and editors are kind enough to let me explore them. I’m so glad I found this calling later in life. I actually have something to say now…

Debbi is now the lead partner at her accounting firm. She has worked hard as well to get to this point in her career. You would be so proud of her, too. I don’t know anyone who works harder and is as good at her job as she is. She also enjoys running; shopping and reading Stephen King novels. I’m glad you got to meet her in those early years of our marriage. She has come a long way, but haven’t we all?

My siblings are all thriving. Hope still lives in Arkansas with Greg; she is a Ph.D. now and teaches at the local college. They have a place in the country that is mostly self-sufficient; it is in beautiful country centrally located in that state. Allison is still in the Austin area; she works from home mostly (pandemic) in computer programming. She and Charlie enjoy staying around the house in the woods with their dog.

Tim is still doing the financial advisor thing in Dallas. He travels all over the world nowadays. He’s been to places that I haven’t even heard of! His bucket list is mostly crossed off while mine is still just a list… Beth and Geoff live north of the metroplex as the parents of one Doberman male. They still raise and train them; they’ve come a long way from Maxwell in the 1980s. He was the first and suddenly, it’s been 35 years. Wow!

Things have not been the same since Dad died in 2015, of course. We sold the house and have tried to move on. It has not been an easy journey for me. I missed you something fierce, but now with both of you gone, it has been almost unbearable. I keep thinking of the good times and the role model you two set for us. I remember the laughter and the fun times even if it was just us sitting in front of the television set some night. You had a way of making Life special and important; that still lives in me.

You always loved the holidays the best; Christmas was your time. At the time in 2001, I didn’t think it was so good that you died at Christmastime, but now, it seems – I don’t know – appropriate. This was when you were at your best; you actually glowed the closer it got to Dec. 25. I wish you had gotten to share that last Christmas with us, but I know that all the ones before then were special; you had 41 of those. And that’s not too shabby…

Your presence is felt every day; and it’s all I can do to write this letter in a torrent of emotions. But as the years go by, I understand my time with you better. I always try to emulate it, although it is a poor imitation. You are and always be One of a Kind…Merry Christmas, Mom; may you have many more…

Your loving son, Dwayne

Dwayne Wilder

Dwayne Wilder is a Sherman native who currently lives in Denison. Wilder’s Whole World is his commentary about life in Texoma and the world. Wilder can be reached at cmandad17@gmail.com. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.