In one of her final pieces of correspondence, before she became too ill to write, our friend wrote this:

I give up. It’s too late for me. I have been at this writing thing for two decades and have found minimal success. I don’t have the energy (the verve!) to continue. All that pushing toward a goal has sunk me. I tried, and failed. 
While we disagree about her perceived failure—much of what she wrote touched us deeply—we cannot deny that lack of commercial success dampened her spirit at times. Still, she continued to write. And for that we are grateful.

A handwritten dedication and inscription in the journal reflected the opening sequence of the biopic Sylvia written by John Brownlow: she dreamed herself “a tree,” but by pushing herself to be successful in three different domains—in journalism, as a creative writer, as a mother—she succeeded only in spreading her talent too thin for any one of them. In the end, she saw her “leaves turn brown and blow away/until the tree is absolutely bare.”

We miss our friend, but when we read these words that she wrote to us, for us, about us, it is as if she were right here with us, sitting across the kitchen table, consoling us, admonishing us, sharing with us a story to make her point.

The Girls