I remember standing in the wings during my high school production of Little Women and shedding a tear when Jo and Beth said the lines: “When you were first born, not an hour old, I told Marmee, ‘Beth is mine!’”
My favorite memory has always been the day you were born. Maybe that day has always been so infinitely dear to me because you’re the only sister I remember welcoming into the world. In fact, I recently found the birthday card I made for you that first day, which read: “Dear Kylie, How do you like the world? Love, Meredith.” When I remember that day, it’s not just a faded memory of child May May that I tease myself about (as you know I so often do). It is one of the memories that I can relive most vividly. I genuinely feel the six-year-old excitement, so simple and pure and all consuming, when I stumbled out of bed to find Grandmama and Grandaddy in the living room. I recall the way my heart leapt for joy when they told me that I had a new sister, and she decided to come a day early. I can hear the pitter patter of my bare feet across the kitchen floor when the first thing I did when I heard the news was run as fast as I could to the kindergarten calendar in order to make sure to move your “Happy Birthday” sticker to the appropriate date. I feel that same pride I felt when Kendall and Jenna got bored at the hospital (understandably so, at 4 years old and 18 months), and I got to stay with you while Grandmama and Grandaddy drove them home. I felt so much pride that day: I was the big sister. I was the one who stayed. Mommy and Daddy even let me help to choose your middle name. I don’t think my little heart knew what to do with how much joy I felt holding you for the first time, and knowing that I was going to help take care of you, that I got to watch you grow, and help you learn, and be your friend. I know exactly what Jo meant when she said, “Beth is mine!” On that very first day, even at the age of 6, I claimed: “Kylie is mine!”
Jo went on: “Everyone has someone special in the world, and I have you, my sweet Beth.”
We had that conversation daily. Every day, even sometimes more than once a day, I made sure to tell you, “I love you more than anything in the world, do you know that?” and you always said “Yes, and I love you most.” You always jumped to most so we wouldn’t have to go back and forth with the “more’s.” And I always looked up to how you wouldn’t say, “I love you more than anything in the world” back to me. It wasn’t that you didn’t love me enough to make such drastic statements, it was that you had your priorities straight, and even though you loved me so very much, I know that you didn’t want to say you loved me more than God or the rest of the family. You were so sincere. And I sincerely meant to make a statement that drastic, but your heart was just too whole to make comparisons. Your love didn’t need to measure up to anything else. There was more than enough to go around.
I still whisper to myself almost daily that I love you more than anything in the world. And then I say a prayer that God will pass along my message.
I distinctly remember feeling a tear roll down my cheek when Jo and Beth proceeded to sing their last duet, and the thought triumphantly marched through my mind: “I could never bear to lose my Beth.”
I don’t know why God decided that my plan for us was wrong. My plan for us was perfect in my mind: I would get to hear you sing so many more songs and watch you draw so many more beautiful pictures. Even though we’re older now, we’d have time for a few more games of Barbie dolls and Disney Princess dress up. We would someday get to be in a show together. You would be my maid of honor. I’d get to see which of your innumerable talents you turned into an enormously successful career. When I had children someday, I’d watch you be the “Awesomest Aunt Kylie,” a title that you always predicted you would get to be. I wanted to see you share your abundant love, your overflowing joy, your contagious laughter, and your genuine heart with so many people as we grew old, forever best friends. There was nothing bad in my plan. There was no cancer. There was no sorrow. There was no loss.
I don’t know why God’s plan didn’t show itself to be more like mine. I often have trouble reconciling how to feel about the path He has put us on. And when I grieve or fear or doubt, I remember your sweet voice boldly declaring that if God decided to give you cancer, then “He must have big plans for me.”
He had a big plan for you. My heart aches to say that in that plan there has been cancer. There has been sorrow. There has been loss. But I want you to know how incredibly proud of you I have always been, and still am. I want you to know that despite the cancer, the sorrow, and the loss, I did get to see part of my plan in action: your abundant love, your overflowing joy, your contagious laughter, and your genuine heart, all shared so purposefully with so many people. God has used and continues to use you and your story in incredibly powerful ways.
Everyday I hope to live a little bit more like you. I’ve learned so many lessons from you, both in your 13 years with me and since, but I think the most profound lessons you’ve given to me are the sincere gratitude of knowing that you are in a perfect place where there is no cancer, sorrow, or loss, and the deep thankfulness that comes with the promise that someday I’ll get to join you.
I love you more than anything in the world, my sweet Kylie!
20 thoughts on “Dear Kylie… Love, Meredith”
In reading this blog the proudness of being Kylie’s big sister shines through. Breaks my heart that you had to lose your ‘Beth’. ❤
Thank you. The similarities between the characters of that book are striking.
Meredith, I am so sorry.. You are the best Sister anyone could ever hope for. Your letter to Kylie is beautiful and a treasure of warmth and love. Your Parents have amazing daughters! Margy
Thank you, Kylie was easy to love.
meredith, you are, and continue to be, an amazing and loving sister. hugs –
She says Thank you.
I sit here in complete awe, you are truly a lovely sister and my heart aches for you. Just imagine the reunion you two will have one day. I sure would love to see that. This is very beautifully written and it seems you’ve taken after your dad when it comes to writing. Kylie was indeed so blessed to have a family and so many others love her. God bless you, Meredith.
Absolutely beautiful beyond words! Not only do the words express love, but the energy and vibration of that love is so present. You can’t help but feel it as you read this beautiful tribute!! God has plans that we aren’t aware of, but we also have to be thankful to be blessed to have such a bond that transcends beyond this world and its limitations. God bless you!!!
Thank you. They certainly had a special bond.
Speechless – profoundly lost for words ((hugs))
Thank you Paul. She’s a brilliant writer and loving sister.
My brother died of colon cancer in 2014. He was only 36 years old. This letter hits so close to home… and those were the last words I said to him too.. “I love you more than anything in the world” then I went and laid down in his oldest son’s bed, prayed that if he wasn’t going to get better that he a least got to stop suffering. 67 days of suffering was enough. Three hospitals, two surgeries, countless “procedures”, a feeding tube, every antibiotic they had at their disposal, off the charts anxiety, very little sleep (for me or him)…67 straight days of that… that was enough. 2.5 hours later I was awoken with his wife’s hands holding my face and looking into my eyes… she said “I need to verify it…” and I didn’t understand what she meant… and then I did. My prayer had been answered… and I was pissed about it. I have trouble reconciling my feelings about this answered prayer, about my plan and His not lining up, about His plan being cancer .. about all of this. And I send that message to him every day at least once a day “I love you more than anything in the world Bunk”
I’m sorry for your loss, Mary Helen. It is so hard to reconcile the plan with what should be the plan. Sibling love is a special thing and I’m glad Kylie’s sisters got it for nearly 13 years.
Such a sweet letter for your little sister. You sound like a perfect big sister. I’m so sorry for your pain.
I am thinking of you all today as it is the 13th here already in Australia. But leading up to ‘the date’ is so hard isn’t it. It’s so sad. I’ve always noticed how much you loved your little baby sister Kylie, your “Beth’ from your family photos posted on Facebook, as well as on Instagram.
I am a mother of 2 sons, Tamzin & Nathaniel. Tamzin was almost 16 when he helped deliver his baby brother in Sydney in 1993. They were mutually adoring of each other as I see in you and Kylie.
It was the other way around for my 2 sons.
Tamzin was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer just before Christmas 1999. Little Nat was only 6. I remember the whole terrifying 8 months every day, and of course can never understand it. It’s been 16 years now and all those feelings of missing and loss are always there. The only surprise is that it actually feels like your Love for your Beautiful Darling just grows immeasurably. Its impossible to imagine I know, but it feels like it grows. And that is what has probably become my biggest comfort. Apart from always hoping i will be in my child’s presence again.
I began this letter to you because I always wonder what I can say to help Nathaniel. Tam was his only sibling.
Meredith, what would you say to your Amazing Kylie, if it had been the other way around?
I really want to know, because it does go on and on. Now Nat is the same age that his brother was, as he was enduring his double stem cell transplants. (always with huge smiles like your Kylie’s).
I understand how your parents feel because of watching on helplessly as the same happened to my son when he had such hopes & dreams as well. But how it must feel for a devoted adoring sibling, is clearly a lifelong struggle too.
Thank you Meredith,
From across the world a year after that date, I am just one of thousands of people I’m sure, who appreciate your open hearted letter about your Love for your little Kylie.
Loves does endure and it just Grows and Grows.
With LOve from Kriss
Such a blessing for you to write this to Meredith. Thank you Kriss.
Dear Myers Family,
thinking of you always but especially today. Sending you positive thoughts.
Beautiful letter Meredith ❤
Even though I've never met any of your family, I can easily promise that I will never forget sweet Kylie. How could you forget such a character.
Lots of love from Germany
Thank you Saskia. Today is a hard day.
All I can say is, I am beyond blessed to have taught you and your sisters and to know all of you. I have started my letter to Kylie a few times now and I can’t quite finish. Praying for you all on this very hard, crummy, sad day. I hate cancer. I hate Feb. 13. But I love you and I will allow God to shine His light into the darkness so the darkness does not win.