Dear River

A friend of mine died recently (a friend of a friend? an acquaintance? idunno what to call her) I have all sorts of mixed feelings about it. When my sister first told me I was fine. I was mostly concerned by how my sister was coping. She was my sister's friend and I met her first through my sister. But she always made sure to see me when I was in town visiting my sister.

Once I got off the phone, however, it was a different story. I had guests staying with me at the time who could tell that I was on a tough phone call and once they asked the key question, "Are you OK?" the uncontrollable sobbing began.

Dear River,
As my way of sorting through my thoughts, I rewatched the Firefly series thinking of you the whole time. Your namesake is an empathetic genius. My favorite scene in the whole series is when River forgets who and what she is and joins in a folk dance and loses herself in the happiness of dancing with strangers.

I've watched my niece bully you because that's what 3-year-olds do, but you always return with a smile.

Regardless of whether you remember me between visits, you always greet me with the warmest hugs. I treasure those. Thank you.

No need to emulate your namesake if she doesn't fit you, but she was a pretty cool chica if you're someday needing a role model:

My heart aches some for your mom who is no longer with us, but mostly for you. I hope you're able to dance amidst the pain. Be well little one. I can't wait to see who you are going to become.


  1. This is really nice, Kaleena. I have a "Dear River" letter started on my computer... but haven't gotten any further than that so far. While this is a really sad and unfortunate circumstance, River is lucky to have so many friends looking out for her. Ally built that up for her.

  2. Thanks, Cailin. When I sat down and started writing I wasn't intending it to be a letter to River but it certainly turned out that way.

  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcdCLZc5GMY