I don’t know where to begin. I’ve wanted to write this for weeks now. I keep putting it off because I know writing it out will hurt, but it hurts anyway. There are so many things I want to say to you because it’s been a year. I never thought I’d go an entire year without talking to you and I never wanted to. In fact this has been the worst year of my life solely because I can’t talk to you. I haven’t seen your smile or heard your voice in so long and pictures and videos just aren’t the same. I miss you, Kylie, but it’s more than that. I missed you when you spent days in the hospital and when you were in Charlotte, but it was never like this. Sometimes I miss you so much my heart physically hurts; I didn’t even know that was possible. Too much has changed in the past year. Sometimes I fear you may not recognize me. Before I sat down to write this, I spent four hours with other people by choice! I know you have some joke to make about that, I just wish I could hear it.
Almost daily I think about how you would react to what’s going on now. I imagine how happy you’d be that I chose a college only forty minutes from home because I could come back every weekend to see you. I think of what you would say about the stories I tell mom when I come home from school. I spend so much of my time thinking about you that I start to remember things that we did so many years ago without trying to. I remember you coming to sit on my beanbag and forcing me to talk to you because you didn’t feel like I had talked to you enough that day. Every once in a while I’ll find myself researching the progress on the Peter and the Starcatchers movie because you used to ask me to look it up every day (By the way, there has been no progress and I seriously doubt that it will actually happen.) I remember mornings when you would come to wake me up. You were so loud that you would wake me up before you meant to, so I pretended to be asleep until you crawled up next to me and kissed my cheek. Sometimes I’m not even sure if these things really happened or if I’m imagining them. I hope they’re real because every moment I can remember with you in it is precious.
I remember the last few days more and more this time of year. Those are the few memories I wish I could forget. I remember the desperation and denial. The anger and confusion. I remember trying to think about anything else, but I couldn’t. I remember the last day when I wished I could switch places with you, but suddenly I realized that was selfish. You fought your fight with cancer and it was time for me, and the rest of the family, to let you go to a better place. Time for us to take our turn with pain and tears. Of course I wanted you to hold on, but I could never ask you to suffer even more just to spare me pain. You fought so bravely and it was time for you to have some peace while the rest of us took a turn on the battlefield. Now I just have to learn to live with that.
I miss you. I’ll never stop missing you. In your short life you became so much a part of me and I will never change. I wish I could spend even just a little more time with you, but since I can’t I’ll have to settle for this. Kylie, I hope you know how much I love you and always will even though I can’t tell you in person anymore. I ask every night for God to give you the kisses that I can’t. I miss your contagious smile, and your great big bear hugs. I miss the way you could always cheer me up. And yes, I even miss your inexplicable ability to get me to do anything you wanted. I love you, Kylie. You are constantly in my thoughts and, more importantly, in my heart. You will always be my baby sister. I love and miss you more than you could ever know.
With all my love,