It is so hard to wrap my head around that fact that we are approaching your 22nd birthday. It feels like a lifetime ago since I last saw you, but your spirit is forever with us. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and I look forward to every day the sun shines down bright or a butterfly flies past me and I know it is you. I am forever grateful for the countless memories we made growing up and I will cherish them forever.
When I think of you, I remember your contagious laugh, the crazy adventures we used to go on, and how you taught us all what it really meant to be brave, even through the toughest times. My favorite memory has to be the day we went sliding down your stairs in pillow cases! I actually just went through my box of things that you had given me or things that remind me of you the other day and read your Christmas letter you gave to me back in 6th grade. I couldn’t help but laugh when you included the story of us sliding down the stairs and how all we could hear was our screams and laughter. You had a laugh that could cause everyone around you to laugh with you. Oh, what I would do to have another day like that with you. Even though our time with you was cut way too short, I am forever grateful for the countless memories and tremendous impact you have left on my life that I carry with me today.
It is crazy to think that your biggest fear was to be forgotten. I remember telling you that could never happen as your story has touched the lives of many and we continue to carry you with us through all of our milestones. From having HD on the bottom of my sweet 16 shoes, sewing the ribbon with your name on it into my prom dress, to carrying another ribbon through high school graduation, you have been there through it all. No one could ever forget someone as free spirited and brave as you. And now, as we are about to graduate college, I plan to do the same and carry you with me through that next milestone. So, happy 22nd birthday angel, keep shining down on all of us and sending us signs to remind us you are still here. We will see you again soon