Dear Kylie, (part 2)

Dear Kylie,

Tomorrow marks a year since you left. I miss you so bad it hurts. I hope you have had time to read all of the beautiful letters people wrote to you. It isn’t just me and your family who miss you. You left a ginormous hole for a fairly small girl.

Kylie belly0001Since we can’t have you here with us, we watch videos of you all the time. We have our favorites. Annie is one, of course. Also, we laughed and laughed about the Disney cruise when you missed mommy and wouldn’t stay at the kids’ camps. Our little pager said: Kylie would like to be picked up at Monstro Point Kylie would like to be picked up at Animator’s Pallet. When I interviewed you to see what your favorite parts of the day were, I asked you what you did when you didn’t want to stay and you said, “Um, cwied”. There was no remorse in your little voice.

Um, cwied” is our family catchphrase now.

I’m kind of nervous to tell you this next part. I’ve got two tattoos – okay three but I’m not counting the little dot I got to show it you didn’t hurt when you had to get marked for radiation. You let me get that one! I know you would be mortified and I’m sorry. One is the Smiley for Kylie logo and the other is the penguin picture you drew me for the marathon. You told me to “run daddy, run, then waddle home to me.” I’m trying to run. I figure the best way to run is to keep on telling people about you – your faith, your joy, and the cancer that we need to kill. Someday I will waddle home to you and I’m kind of ready for that. Does that sound weird – that I’m kind of sick of this place and ready to see you again? It’s true. Nothing is the same without you. I’m not going to jump in front of a bus anytime soon, but I would be the first to push someone out of the way.

I did go ahead and run the marathon that I was training for before you died. Okay, I walked a lot. My worst time by far, but I finished. I still run so I don’t turn into fat daddy again, but not as far as I used to. I’m spending most of my time writing.

I’m finally releasing the last Virgil Creech book that we started reading together. I think its pretty good – I wish you had gotten to finish it. I wonder if you just know how it ends since you are up there. Hey, if there’s a library can you get it in for me? Maybe stash it in Charles Dickens’ backpack when he’s not looking?

I’m glad I finished that because mostly I write about YOU now! My blog gets a lot more readers (when you are the subject) and I am working on a book about things you did to take back your joy from cancer. I think it could help people who have to go through hard times like you did. Sometimes I can only smile because you taught me how. You showed me that every minute is precious and joy can be unearthed anywhere if you dig deep enough. You were chock full of amazing.

imageOh, Kylie. I miss you so much. I know I said it before, but it’s true. I miss seeing your smile and hearing your giggle. I miss watching you perform. We went to Broadway, but it wasn’t the same without you. You got your Broadway debut, though! It should have been on a stage, but it was on a billboard instead. Lots of people saw it. You are making a difference.

I guess I just wanted to say I love you, I miss you, I’m sorry, and I will never forget you. You are the inspiration for everything I do from now until that glorious day when I get to hold you again.

You and me for always,

Daddy

 

 

Dear Kylie,

Dear Kylie,

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we said goodbye. Since I held you in my arms and carried you out of the house. To say I miss you is an understatement. I think about you every day. I wonder what you would be like now, almost fourteen. I wonder if your hair would have come back curly. I know you didn’t want that. You just wanted your hair to be like it was before cancer. You just wanted to be normal.

I’m sorry you got cancer. I need you to know that I didn’t lie to you when we talked about winning. I always believed we would. It never crossed my mind that you would die. Maybe it’s stupid to be optimistic about stuff, I don’t know. We all have different outlooks on life and mine is a little like Pollyanna… or Paddington. Remember how I read his books to you and Jenna at bed time? Paddington always thought the best of situations and people, even of Mr. Curry. Maybe I’m like that simple, stuffed bear.

From the very beginning, I thought we would win. Even on your very last morning when I prayed in the basement, I believed God would change it. I don’t understand why he didn’t. I’ve asked him but he doesn’t answer. I prayed so hard that he would make you well or take me instead. Wouldn’t healing you have been the best way to let this world know he was still around? It’s the story I would have written. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this whole mess, it is that I don’t hold the pen.

Sometimes I feel like I’m stuffed in this big, black bag that he gets to shake around but I’m sealed off inside so he doesn’t have to hear me when I scream. I know it isn’t right, but it is how I feel and no one gets to tell me how to feel (I learned that from your mommy). It’s just so weird thinking about God now. It’s like he is a million miles away one minute and so close I can’t see past him the next. If you run into him today up there, tell him I’m not mad at him. I just don’t understand his plan and why you had to go to him and not stay with me. No, I’m not mad, but I am actually a little afraid of him. Of course, he’ll probably just laugh and say it is right for me to be afraid. He is God, after all.

Christmas was lame without you. Nobody here believes anymore, you were the last one who still thought… Oops! I’ve said too much. But I guess you know by now. December was a double whammy of missing you and the loss of Christmas magic. We still put the tree out and hung your stocking and all of your special ornaments. I still complained about hauling the decorations up and down the stairs. Some things never change.

I’ll finish this letter soon and you might get some letters from other friends. They say it helps a person grieve to write a letter like this, but I don’t know about that. I’m not sure anything really helps. My heart has a Kylie-sized hole that no amount of paper can patch.

You and me for always,

Daddy