** Dear readers I must apologize for my absence last week. I was hit hard with a horrific cold that knocked me down and out for a couple of days. I am glad to be back in the land of the living with so much fun to share. **
Today marks what would have been your 34th birthday. Four years ago I contemplated gifts to harass you about your 30th birthday as you harassed me on mine. But I knew in my heart my time with you was getting short so my gifts were thoughtful and filled with all the love I had for you.
Your birthday serves as a reminder that we are only months away from the anniversary of your death. Both dates live loudly in my heart. The day you were brought into my life and the day you were taken out of it.
This year, more than ever before, I cannot understand how I can continue on without you. My heart is sobbing, aching. My head is having a M’Lynn Eatenton style fit about you being gone. I’m not sure how to make either of them stop. I long to hear your voice, see your face wrinkle up when someone makes a smart-ass comment at you, hear your laugh, see your smile. I long to hold you tight and hug you and never let you go.
Your boys are all growing into amazing young men. They are each coming into their own and discovering who they will someday be. Yet they find themselves the best of friends. Your husband is finding life without you to be difficult. He is filled in that true feeling of loss. I find it hard to guide him as I am in that place as well.
You have missed hundreds of laughs and smiles and tears and frowns and bumps and scrapes and boo boos. You’ve missed braces coming off legs and running down sand dunes and catching fish and swimming and jumping off docks. You have now missed more moments than you were a part of. That alone breaks my heart.
I celebrate your birth, don’t get me wrong. The saying “it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” is so very true. I can’t imagine my life without you in it, even for the very short time that I had you. Still, that loss left a cavern in my soul that simply cannot be filled. I suspect we are all like that. We start out this world whole and pure and leave it with holes from the losses we have endured. It seems only right to leave with proof of the love we came here to be a part of.
I celebrated today by spending it watching your sweet nephews with pride. They worked so very hard today and I could feel every inch of you in that natatorium cheering them on. They did their best today because of you, because of your love for them. It was no accident that their meet fell on your birthday.
Happy birthday dear sister. Have my babies hug you and kiss you and help you chase those ocean wave hugs we sent your way this morning. Know that you are love and know that you are missed. Know that you are my sister. Always.