Honestly, I don’t know quite how to begin this. Calling you “Mother” just doesn’t feel right, and “Mom” just seems so ordinary, when you were never anything short of amazing.
I found this diary inside the box of research Dad had collected on our ancestors. It may have been put there accidently, though I suspect that it wasn’t. Building up the nerve to actually read it was not easy. You took such care in writing to dad and keeping the letters carefully bound together, it seemed almost sacrilege to disturb them. There is almost a sense that you knew the letters would provide Dad comfort, after breaking the news you were going to Africa for mission work. So I write to you now, in that same diary, hopefully to bring you (and selfishly, myself) some measure of that same comfort.
I am amazed how much we were alike as teens. You never spoke much about your childhood, but after reading your letters, it is clear that you struggled against the same doubts and fears as me. We may have dealt with them in very different ways, but they were just as real for both of us. Your sister, Fiona, may still be somewhere in Sim City. Whether she cares or not, she at least should know how you were taken from us by the hands of soulless cowards.
I have devoted much of my career to tracking down the person responsible for what happened to You and Jacob. And if that means I have to drag what’s left of him into custody, then that’s what I’ll do. You have always taught us to forgive and love our enemies. But knowing that this butcher is still roaming free in the world, drives my sense of justice. How any sim can justify snuffing out the lives of defenseless, innocent children for the sake of an ideal, is beyond my ability to comprehend. Ali will be judged for his cruelty; both before the law, and before his maker.
There is actually some good news mixed in with all of this mess. While I was away in China, I married the love of my life, Mei Wu. Her Grandfather, Jiang Xi, was a master matchmaker, and somehow wove our lives together in a way which makes us a cut from the same fabric. We are both saddened that neither you nor he were able to meet our beautiful daughter, Hope. Mei’s parents assure us his passing was happy, and he was comforted in the knowledge his own legacy will continue, just as ours will.
Mary and Elizabeth are growing faster than anybody can keep up with. Dad has almost surrendered to the fact that the girls view Mei and I more as parents than as their brother and his wife. He is still very active in their lives and has the final say in the big stuff, but they seem to always come to us first with the small stuff. Quite honestly, I don’t think he minds. We all know they miss you terribly, though neither of them speak of it openly. They sometimes sit, far away from any interruption, and cry together. It is their way of coping with the loss.
Mary is happiest when she is outdoors by herself; either with the telescope, playing on the playground, or fishing on the beach. The focus in her eyes is unmistakable, and I think she has my determination without all of the added drama. She seems to be a lot like Mei was at that age, to be honest. I am looking forward to the chance to teach her using the methods Jiang Xi used to teach me, Mei, and countless others.
Elizabeth, on the other hand is pure bottled energy. She is more excitable that Dad ever was, and darts around the house at a full sprint. She has really taken Hope under her wing. It is hilarious watching them do something as simple as peek-a-boo, and both getting so excited that they start squealing. Elizabeth is going to be an achiever. She is always on the go and wanting to do something extra to get ahead of the other kids in school.
Mei and I decided to take all three girls to China and visit Mei’s parents. Dad jumped at the chance to come along and go fishing for some kind of rare dragonfish. We had a great time, and Hope fell in love with China. Visiting the academy without Jiang Xi was difficult and strange, but Mary appreciated it all the same. I convinced Dad that buying a property here was well worth the investment, and so we immediately purchased a vacation home with a view that rivals the one from our home in Sunset Valley.
The only setback during the whole trip was that our house in Sunset Valley was burglarized while we were gone. Actually, it was more like a bomb hit. I lost some of the priceless, ancient artifacts I had collected during my earlier trips. They even tore up the kids rooms. Dad seemed really upset about the whole ordeal, but I told him not to get himself all worked up about it. I filed a report at the station and collected a few prints before heading out to another assignment. What’s funny about it, is that the whole investigation has fascinated Mei to the point of wanting to become a Forensic Analyst.
It seems like I’m briefing you about everybody and leaving out our poor little Hope. If you could only see her… She has a perfect mix of your best features paired with those from Mei. I have never known a more friendly child, so excitable and outgoing, and wanting to meet new people. I guess it is some weird kind of karma that she is best friends with both Charlotte’s daughter and Melissa’s son. They are all around the same age, and get along great together. There really is no awkwardness about any of it, and we all laugh about some of the stuff we did as kids.
I leave you with the news that Mei and I are expecting another baby. I don’t believe that we will be filling up the house with kids in quite the same way you and Dad did, though. Besides, Hope has taken to fishing with her grandfather, and it seems like that alone is good enough for him.
And about Dad? He’s happy, but at the same time not. There is a deep-seeded worry in his eyes, and he spends far too much time talking about that old mine entrance the military sealed up years ago. I worry that his mind might be going, as he seems fixated on waiting for some girl named Kacey, whom he dated while he was a teenager.
Maybe I’ll have to take a closer look through all this stuff after all.