Brandon Cabero
to Rebecca Sterling

We welcomed the new year with little fanfare this time around. I'm not even entirely sure there was really anything to celebrate. We closed the door on 2017, but all the sorrow and anger and fear that the year brought to everyone still lingers, and instead of feeling like a new beginning, all I can feel is an unsettling sense of something that feels a lot like dread. That's so dramatic of me, isn't it? But with the way the world has been moving around us, it doesn't feel like an exaggeration at all. And I'm exhausted by trying to be the rock that Holly and my mom need, particularly at the worst of times - though that has made me that much more appreciative of the fact that the twins don't know, are too young to understand still.

You're the only person I can talk to right now, if you could call this talking. I think it's because I know you won't reply right away, and so there's this buffer between getting all of this out and hearing any kind of feedback about it. Anyone else would tell me to relax, and there really isn't anything I wish I could do more than that. As the age old saying goes, though: easier said than done. That seems to be quite the theme lately. Between the demands of work, having a family to take care of, and this almost-constant fear that hasn't left me since November of 2016, everything feels like too much. And how am I supposed to be what anyone else needs to be when I'm not even sure who, or what, I need from myself? What do I do?

Don't worry, I don't expect a real answer. I'm not sure that one even exists, now that I think about it, but there were too many thoughts in my head that I couldn't sleep. And now those thoughts are here. But they feel safe here, for whatever reason, and I'm not going to question that. Not right now. Maybe when I wake up later in the morning and realize what I've done, but by then it'll be too late anyway, and I did promise to keep you in the loop of everything that's going on here so this seems almost... appropriate, I guess, but that doesn't quite feel like the right sentiment either. Everything here is good, more or less, until the moments where I feel like I'm barely keeping it together. And I can't let that happen. I won't.

That's enough about that, huh? I know we spoke before the new year, and I know that you're enjoying your jet-setting lifestyle as you experience all that the world has to offer, but I miss having you around. The twins miss having their favorite aunt around, too, although they more than appreciate the gifts you send them all the time - because what they need is to be more spoiled than they already are, right? (No, that's not an invitation for more gifts.) We all hope you'll visit soon, even if it means having to sit through awkward family dinners with dad, because even though I know you're doing just fine on your own, it would be nice to be able to confirm that for myself. So... come home soon, even if just for a little while. Please?

Love you,