To Lily and Bobby Rice (first letter)

Dear Lily and Bob,
It’s been almost 25 years and I wonder what’s become of you two. You’d remember me. I was the Minister’s kid — one of two blond boys at church services and potlucks during the early 80’s (my brother Josh was there too sometimes). The basement had earth walls and smelled like mold. It’s where we first met.
People said you were destined to leave the reserve.
I sometimes imagine the two of you crossing the old swing bridge for the last time.
Bob was going to run in the Olympics but I don’t think it ever happened. Did it? You were going to be Parry Sound’s next Bobby Orr. I was already impressed by both of you because you were in High School. Everyone liked Lily, even the cop’s son who hated “fuckin’ reds”.
How did you manage to be so well adjusted? I remember Bobby laughing off a joke we overheard at his track practice: What’s the definition of chaos? Father’s Day for Ojibways.
I wonder now what to make of us in your lives. I remember just showing up. Your mother was so kind to my Dad. What did he think he was doing with those lectures he prepared each week for a congregation of six or seven? Some people openly slept.
I still get upset thinking about how sad Dad must’ve been at times.
What if there is nothing any of us can do to stop a horrific erasure of the past? What if everything that has ever been is eventually forgotten? You both seemed so at peace with these kinds of possibilities.