Twenty two months ago, we lost you. Twenty two months ago, I sent you off to school for the last time. I picked you up for the last time. It was our last hug and kiss. Our last snuggle good night.
This isn’t the way it should be. I shouldn’t have to go to visit your graveside. I know you are with me, but I still crave that physical touch.You should be here, with our family. Enjoying life, making memories with your friends (who are becoming teenagers-what!), is what you should be doing.
My sidekick should still be with me, waiting for your tech dad and brother to join us as we cheer on your sisters. This isn’t fair. At all.
You would be so proud of them though. Austin is engaged to your ‘Rissa. He’s starting a job he is really excited about soon, that will hopefully be a great start to his career. His college graduation is right around the corner. I remember how proud you were of him when he graduated high school and started at Miami. He recently found a message you wrote him at his graduation party. It was quite a surprise and made us all smile, giggle, and of course, cry. Your smile would be as wide as the Nile for his college graduation.He misses you. More than he admits to anyone.
Aves is having a good year. She has found a group of friends that are supportive of her, her goals, and her grief. They listen and let her cry when she needs to, without judgment and only love. She has found one in particular, that I swear you arranged for from up there. She misses you, but is much more open with me about her feelings. She misses the other ”pea in the pod”.
Lallie, your roommate, is having a great year. She made Choraliers, which has really strengthened her relationship with Aves, and is doing an incredible job performing. I love seeing them together and know you would be proud. Lallie has made the high school softball team and is excited about the upcoming season. She talks about how she misses you. I worry about her the most, when her smile is the “shiniest”.
Your dad and I struggle, together and separately. Losing you has impacted everything for us. We love you and want to make you proud. Dad stays busy with a million projects. I stay busy with work and your siblings. Our grief is dealt with separately. We don’t talk about the accident or how we lost you, very often. Lots of guilt and sadness envelope us in those moments, so much so that we don’t allow ourselves to “go there” often.
We have all changed so fundamentally since you died. Life is so much heavier, that when happiness happens, it is so much brighter than before. Our highs are higher and lows are lower than before we lost you.
Nothing will be the same. We know that. We try everyday to adjust to this new normal. Everyday we succeed and manage to get through. Some days are easier than others to accomplish this. Some days we are content and truly happy. Some days the grief is too much. Either way, we are getting up, putting one foot in front of the other, and making our day happen. Every day we work to make you smile. Every day we feel your absence, but everyday we try to feel your presence.
We love you, baby girl and miss you more than all the words in the world.