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Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Nov 14 / Peter Lichtenberg

Becky’s Dawn

becky-peter-wedding

Our wedding day

On November 14, 1984, I awoke at 6:47 am and knew that Becky was dead. The person I had cherished was gone, and my life as I knew it was over.

It strikes me that Becky’s role in my life was so important that it wasn’t until a winter night in 2015 that I decided to write my book; not until I had Becky’s voice to share. It was a very cold night, and even getting out of the car in the garage was quite chilly. I walked into my home, and my eye caught sight of a handwritten letter, almost a package, or at least a full envelope sitting on the counter. I casually walked by and looked down at it. I can no longer read without my glasses, so I could not see who it was from. My curiosity soon got the best of me.

I got my glasses and saw that this letter to Pete Lichtenberg was from my college friend, and Becky’s college roommate senior year, Mary Fabrini. I had just been thinking about Mary. Had I ever written her to tell her about Susan’s death? Eagerly, I opened the letter and at once the tears started to flow; inside were three letters from Becky to Mary. Even before I read them I responded to seeing Becky’s handwriting. Some time ago I had misplaced the few letters I had from Becky. I started to read these; one from August 1981, one from September and one from October of the same year.

Right there in front of me Becky told Mary of her happiness and later of her engagement to me. I was transported back to that time and place and the forever feeling I have when I think of Becky; the feeling of joy and happiness. Then I read Mary’s note and cried even more: Tears of Joy? Tears of Sadness? Tears of Life gone by?  Yes, the tears were to all three. I was ecstatic to see these letters and reading their contents was incredibly affirming even 34 years later!