Hi, Lyddi. It’s been two months.

Two months.
It has been two months.  It’s hard to believe, because I still feel like time stopped that night.  But here we are.  Monday is your birthday. I’m not sure what we’re going to do with your car, and I’m sad I can’t take you to get your license this week.  We also have that extra Phish ticket, because we were going to go both nights. I’m going to leave your seat open so that any of my friends at the show can come and sit with Chris and I for a bit and visit.

I’m going to get your initials tattooed on my wrist on your birthday.  We were going to get matching tattoos for your 16th birthday, remember? I was going to get “Jai Guru Deva Ohm” in Hindi on my wrist, and you were going to get “Nothing’s Gonna Change My World.”  Last year you got your nose pierced with your bestie Tia, and then you looked even more like my little Mini Mimi. Isabelle got hers nose pierced too!

I visited your tree today.  It’s really thriving! My Daddy, your Poppy goes out every day to check on it and say hello to you.  You would be so happy to know that he got the CLEAR from his cancer doctor! He’s doing great! We all miss you terribly, but we enjoy sharing your memories and talking about you.  On this day last year we went with Poppy to the St Louis Symphony Orchestra Pink Floyd show, and Nate came with us. They called for volunteers to go on stage to sing, and you were by far the youngest person up there, and you blew the entire audience away with your singing!  You even knew the lyrics better than those old farts! Haha!

Speaking of being the youngest person in the room, I canceled your annual exam with your glaucoma doctor. Even though you had glaucoma at such a very young age, your eyes were donated and someone now has the gift of sight! Aunt Zoe and I were wondering if somebody out there has your special “eyeball freckle!” I had your prescription sunglasses turned into regular sunglasses so I can wear them. I also wear your clothes, and I’m glad we were the same size! You were still growing, and I wonder, would you have been as tall as me? Keegan is going to pass me up one of these days! You would be proud of how strong he has been through all of this, but the truth is, he misses you terribly. We all do. I wish you knew how much your loss would hurt us all.

Everything reminds me of you. I go into your room every day. It still smells like you. I will say it smells a lot better without dirty dishes rotting in your dresser drawers, silly kid! Some days I can’t get out of bed, but I do my best to stay busy. You’re always on my mind. I love you so much. I just miss you.

I’m writing to you from the cabin. Chris and I are here this weekend, and tonight we’re going to Amanda’s wedding. I’m excited to see all of my friends and celebrate Amanda and Alan’s love. Sometimes I feel like such a party pooper. I have this feeling that everyone immediately gets sad when they see me. So I bury all of my sadness deep inside, and I put on a big smile, and I put on a brave face. Everyone tells me “You’re doing so well, all things considered!” but they can’t see the part that I hide. The raw sadness that people just want to turn their eyes from. I wonder if that’s even a glimmer of the deep sadness that you had. I understand now. You were always so happy, so outgoing and joyful, but inside you were hiding a Big Sad. Your spirit is free, and I’m carrying the burden for you now. I would have carried it all along if I could have. I’m sorry that only now I understand your darkness. Until we meet again, babygirl…

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