Wednesday, August 15, 2007


dear denise,

in october, it will be a year that you were taken so suddenly from us. I miss you. you know, I have done nothing capable of being precisely good-willed since your leaving. I have done nothing notable. I have not touched my camera since feb, except to charge the batteries. you see, I had planned a day of shooting a few weeks ago, but work got to me first.

I wonder how different it will be to shoot images this autumn without you here. I am being selfish, I suppose. I should not think of how my life has changed... I should think of how jessica and tiffanie's lives have changed. I see them on myspace under my other account. they are so torn w/o you. I cannot imagine jessie's emotions, being the one who saw you get hit by that truck.

I picture your death in my head, although I was not there. I see all the different ways you landed after being dragged. I see your daughter's face. I picture the day of your funeral and how you felt so different to me. how I cried while over 300 people sat behind me quiet. it was just you and I up there.

you were always so much better than I... you finished school first, began as a teacher, went to church, had a lovely family, and gave so much to those around you.

me...? that one is easy; I tend to run when I get close to someone, drag my schooling out, get into bad situations, lose people, and I am such a brat. grandad's favorite, right? well, he once told me how he worries about me, because I am so much like him.

our family has quite a good reputation in california, into so many things, and school things as well. but no one can compare to the things he has done and said. even in his biography, he mentions his time as a child in china, and all the things his father accomplished. what I am trying to say is, you were more like him, than I. you always set goals, always reached them; you wanted 2 children after marriage, you did that. you wanted to build a home, you did that. (I know, I built a home, but remember, I walked out of it after a year.) I do not regret that.

I am mad that you left. I am mad that you did not see that truck before it hit you. I am mad that the dog you were trying to save from the road, tried to bite you. if he had not, you would not have gone back a second time with a blanket. sigh.

I am mad that you moved out of the house when I was only 15. we never had a chance to do "teenage" things. then you went to bahrain and so forth. you were always so darn far, denise. I was always busy with things like school and my hobbies.

I wish you were here. I want to make a huge thanksgiving dinner for you and your family. btw, after I built that home and you came to visit, I really loved the things you cooked. I am sorry that I did not go exploring with you on your vacation, and that we got into that tiny spat over whatever it was and, that I made you cry. as big as that house was, there was nowhere to hide from your pain.

I remember lying beside you as we talked about life and how I laughed at how you shaved your legs.

I remember our last phone call. you were coming to get that piece of furniture off my hands. it was such a nice conversation--I told you about the $1000 I won for a photo, and you were so excited to see the image. well, I am sorry you never got that chance.

I want you to know that when I flew to your funeral, I shot so many images of everyone. I actually got a few smiles. I want you to know that I saw the left over salad you left in the fridge, and the sink that you hated, because the way it was placed in the corner. I saw your bedroom and used some of your make up (I did not bring much because of airline regulations). and as I sat on your bed while mary braided my hair,. I felt you there. it was all so surreal.

and on my last day there, as the plane flew away, I blew you a kiss. boy did the tears began to fall.

my life has been so crazy since then, denise. I do not even know if you can see me right now. sometimes, I want to be held close, to feel warmth. who is going to be my sister to do that? I do not want to be the big sister now. I do not know how! I am so "unsettled", denise. I am always multitasking, working, and whatever. I liked it better when you were the older sister and kept us in line. my god, you were so bossy!

do you remember that time in bodega bay? I do. I took $5 from mum (was only 6 yrs old). do you remember how you made me your slave when you found out? you would threaten to tell if I did not clean up your messes and whatnot. sheesh!

or how we would "do" each other's backs? I would scratch yours first (or you would tell mum about the $5) and when it was my turn to get my back scratched, you were asleep? I always knew you were faking. I just allowed it because I loved you.

and I was always jealous at how well you were at riding horses. and when you tried to teach me, I fell off. I was really frightened. I just never showed it. that is why I would lie on dusty's back and sing puff the magic dragon-- it was much more calming (even in the rain). I used to love those foggy sonoma mornings.

I also loved watching all the wonderful things you did. how well you were at everything. you are a great loss to the world.

what I want to say is, you are so beautiful, inside and out. you are my one "stolen" thing. I love you. I wish I knew why it was you that fateful night and not me. perhaps there is something in store for me. perhaps, I just got lucky. I do not feel so lucky, not now, not here without you.

love, cherilyn

p.s. sorry if this letter is so messy and/or all over the place--I just typed as it came out.

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it is a terrible feeling to be able to save lives knowing the ones you love, are much too far to help. I am sorry I was not there, denise.

perhaps my life is to help the ill. perhaps I am here now to continue to do so.

so, why do I lose so many people in my personal life? not to death, but somewhere else. somewhere that I cannot reach them. some just go away, I suppose. I do not know why. I really should hold onto things much tighter. xo

2 comments to Cher:

Dawn said...

Cher, I am moved in a thousand directions by this letter to your sister! I can feel your love so deep for her, and I know she is smiling down on you! Yes, I know you and we all try to think of a million things that could have happened to prevent the one thing that did ... I know your heart is torn and I know that she is there within you! Though you are not able to hold or talk to her, she is holding you and whispering to you each morning....when you feel the wind, that is Denise. My heart breaks for the pain that you have been through. I am an only child, so it is hard to put into words of a way to be of any encouragement to you whatsoever....but know My heart cries out to you, and I am there for you always my best friend!! Yes, there is a purpose so significant for you Cher.....and you will see things as they unfold, where your reason lies in it all!! I love you with all of me, Dawn

Cherilyn Ferroggiaro said...

you are such a lovely friend, dawn and I appreciate that. thank you for your kind words. I know she feels my love. I miss her so.

you know, you have helped fill that empty space, made me smile with your warm heart.

love you always,

cher xoxoxoxoxxo


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