Hello again, my dear sister! You know how much my heart and my spirit love to spend time with you. It has always been that way – well, most of the time! – and such a joy to watch you and Terry grow up together to be the wonderful, intelligent women you became. Of course, there are another dozen adjectives I could also use to describe your beauty and grace. The point is, Mary Lou, that you and Terry were always in my life. You are a sister. I have always loved you, and I love you now almost in the same way I love Terry.
It has always been that way, but I felt it most strongly the day I walked in the house after I got back from Vietnam. You were the first to see me, and you ran full tilt from the kitchen to the front door to give me the biggest, most wonderful, most healing hug. You might not remember it – after all, it was part of who you are – but it touched me so deeply, I will never forget it. The joy on your face to see me was so genuine, so loving that it made me feel I was home. After the coldness of Vietnam your hug warmed my aching soul. Of all the hugs I received that day, yours is the one I can still feel over fifty years later.
The world needs to know how much I love you, that you are immediate family to me, and now it does. I wish everyone could have known you. Thank you.
(Jonestown survivor Tim Carter is a regular contributor to this website. His previous stories may be found here.)