Before we get into the next story, Happy Birthday, Barb, there’s another one about birthdays that needs to be revealed first because of their uncanny similarities. You see, there was more to the story of The Letter than what has previously been shared. Something else happened on November 8, 2008— the day the letter my Dad had tried to get to me forty years earlier finally landed in my mailbox, thanks to Emily Sue Buckberry of West Virginia—the day of Jimmy’s 25th birthday. We spent most of that day at our good friends Dana and Steve Gabriel’s beach house in Del Mar. Jimmy had only been gone for three months and this was our first “holiday” without him—a very difficult and crushing day for all of us—and yet strangely and incredibly uplifting because of the arrival of the letter from my father. Our daughter Brittany and her husband Ryan were of course there—they were newlyweds, married a little over a year at the time. We all left the beach a few hours after sunset and Ryan and Brittany returned to their home also in Del Mar.
Brittany didn’t tell us what happened that night until several months later. She explained “The letter from your Dad arriving that day seemed to dwarf what happened to us.”
I don’t think so.
Here are Brittany and her husband Ryan telling this story of the “Other Letter” in a short film by Steve Date.
Happy Birthday, Sis
By Brittany Kirby
“which have you decided? Of course you’re beyond good and evil! I toast you to a future quarter century of passionate pursuits! (you’ll never regret it). I love you eternally, Happy Birthday. Jimmy”
I dissolved, yet again this day, in tears.
Today was my brother’s 25th birthday.
My brother Jimmy had given me this book and the card on February 28, 2005 for my 25th birthday.
“I love you eternally.”
Jimmy was 21 years old when he wrote that to me.
Note from Casey:
My Dad (Grover Cleveland Gauntt, Jr.) had likewise come through to me that very same day—a day when I really wanted him to be there for me.
And my son, Jimmy, came through to his sister, Brittany (my first born) —on the day she really wanted him to be there with her.
Next, is the story about my mother’s 91st birthday—and her 89th, and her 34th… Read: Happy Birthday, Barb