It's been a while since we've talked. Usually, I just post pictures of puppies onto your Facebook page, but I figured this would be cooler. (Don't worry, I'll still post puppy pictures.)
Remember that summer that we went in your pool (sans ladder) and my sister and I had to pull/push you out? I remember having a hard time pushing you because I was laughing so hard. Auntie, only you could get stuck in a pool.
Remember that time you told me there were 60 inches in a foot? Yeah, I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one. (Would that mean I'm only 1'5"?!)
Let's not forget about the summer you first got Coco. My tiny, criss-crossed legs were an open invitation for her to come fall asleep on me. I think I got my love of pups from you.
Here's a good one: the time you punched me in the face. Remember that? You were putting on one of my floaties, and then BAM, you hit my right cheek.
One thing I'll never forget was our last conversation. It was a Sunday (April 21, 2013, to be exact) and things had started to improve for you. You were more talkative that day, you had eaten well, and you were more engaged. It was as if your IVs had infused God into your veins. I think I might've seen you smile that day. I was getting ready to leave the hospital when I turned to look at you.
"I love you,"
"I love you, too."
Something inside of me had pushed me to tell you those three words that day. Looking back on it now, I'm glad I listened to that gut feeling. I'm glad you said them back to me. And, to tell you the truth, I'm glad I didn't go to visit you when things took a turn for the worse that Tuesday.
One thing I will always regret is not kneeling by your open casket at your wake. I remember averting my eyes from your casket whenever it would come into my line of sight. The thought of being by your cold, lifeless body had terrified me at fifteen, but at eighteen, I would do anything to have that opportunity to touch your hand one last time.
I will never understand why this happened to you. You, the sweetest, most thoughtful human being, were taken away from this planet much too early. You never intentionally hurt anyone. You always opened your home to my sisters and I every summer. You made some of the best mashed potatoes I've ever had. (You used to save the leftovers from Thanksgiving and let me eat them at 10:30 at night.)
Don't let anyone in Heaven tell you that you lost your battle with cancer. My aunt doesn't lose. My aunt is a champion. My aunt is an inspiration. My aunt is my hero.
I hope you've found peace in Heaven. I hope you've been reunited with other family members who have passed. I hope you're surrounded by countless dogs, snowmen, and BJ's Wholesale Club eclairs.
I hope I can emulate your kind spirit so that we can meet again in the future.
I love you.