2020-03-11 Happy Birthdays

Dear Joseph and Lucia,

Lucia, I’m sorry I didn’t write a letter on your birthday, but allow me to say here: Happy 19th birthday (a little late).  Joseph, happy 21st birthday to you today.  You are both growing up and leaving your childhoods behind.

I haven’t been writing nearly as frequently as I have in the past. For that, I apologize.  As I’ve mentioned before, it’s painful, so I put it off. But I want you both to know that I think of you guys every day.  I wonder how you are doing.  Are classes going well?  Are you both still making A’s in everything now you’re in college? Have you made friends?  Are you dating anyone? What do you tell your friends about yourselves?

I also play scenarios of having conversations with you guys.  But this is a dangerous line of thought and I try not to indulge in it for any length of time.  To remain sober and productive, I have to live in the present.  Fantasies about future events or dwelling on the past are hazardous activities I should not indulge.  Instead, I focus on what’s immediately in front of me in the here and now.  And that happens to be wishing you both happy birthdays and bringing you up on events that have been happening in our lives.

I still work at SpaceX’s rocket engine test facility in McGregor.  It’s going on three years next month.  In that time, I’ve learned an incredible amount and continue to do so on a daily basis.  We are doing some really cool things in engineering.  You can read about all the stuff we’ve been up to in the news.  It’s never a dull moment.  I go home every weekend to Richardson to Michele.  It’s like a mini-vacation every week.  But every few weeks, I’m on-call and have to stay in Waco over the weekend.  Michele comes down for those weekends.  It’s really fun. She’s met all my teammates and loves them all.  I think that is where I’m luckiest of all.  I’ve made really good friends with the guys I work with.  They are more like family than peers.

As for Michele, she’s continuing to plow along with her job at the hotel.  It’s fun to see all the different events she organizes.  These are real big events that usually have thousands of attendees.  On the weekends when she has to work, I like to go with her and poke my nose around.  There have been pinball collectors, vintage cars, tons of big weddings, fund raising galas, and my favorite… a flat earth conference.  Oh… that was SOOOO much fun.  Michele wore her SpaceX polo I got for her and I made sure to have discrete company logos on my clothing too.  It was just fascinating.

Both girls are doing ok.  Rachael is living with a roommate in downtown Dallas.  She’s studying to become a mortician and really enjoying it.  She is already interning and frequently has to handle weekend “pick-ups” so she’s always driving the company hearse.  Mel is living back home with us for a while until she can get settled with her company on where they need her.  In the meantime, she’s working from the house.  Michele loves having her around.

I miss you both and would love to be able to talk to you. I would love nothing more than to just jump in my car and show up on your doorstep and surprise you, but I doubt that would end well.  Instead, I’ll keep writing these letters.  If you do want to talk, but not sure, we can always just exchange emails or letters.  You can reach me at markus.randel@gmail.com.  Or if you want to talk, call me at 214-317-2461.  I won’t answer the call, but just leave a message and I’ll call right back.  Or heck, just text me.  The same offer goes to your friends that might be worried about you.  I will patiently answer any and all questions you might have.  I leave this in your hands and won’t force myself onto you.  And I’ll wait.  Even if you don’t see any new letters for a while, know that I’m always thinking of you both and want nothing but the best for you two.


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