I consistently hear my peers tell me about how they do not remember anything from their childhood, nothing prior to about age six or seven anyway. For some reason, I remember everything about you even though you left me when I was five years old. You were my best friend. You were my only friend, if I'm being honest.

I remember certain days in particular. Sometimes I smile, but more often than not, I cry when I think of them. It's been 14 years but it hasn't gotten any easier to be without you.

I remember pulling up to a Burger King on a hot summer day about a year before you died. I stood by the car while our parents struggled to get your wheel chair out of the back. We laughed at them. How could two grown men struggle so much with one tiny wheelchair? As far as I knew, you were a girl just like me but with a twist. You didn't have to walk around. I thought it was awesome. I didn't know any better. I was only five years old.

I remember dressing up like Disney Princesses at your house for your birthday that year. Looking back on it now, I'm glad nobody told me it would be your last birthday. I'm glad you didn't know either. That night we got to be young girls playing dress up without a care in the world. You were such a fun person to be around. Your heart was pure and your sass was effortless. I like to think I got my sass from you!

I'll never forget the morning I got the news. I was young, so I was ignorant. I figured you were just different. You spent a lot of time in the hospital but everyone always told me you would be okay. I believed them. So the night you passed, when my parents left me with my grandparents and stormed off in the middle of the night, I had no idea what was going on. I woke up to my mom in the hallway waiting for me. She looked so sad. I may have been five years old but even 14 years later, I can tell you exactly how she started off this conversation. She said "sit down baby, I have to tell you something. It's about Gina."

I may have been sitting down but I felt my legs go numb and I could have sworn I was falling. I like to think the only reason I eventually got up out of that chair was because you lifted me out of it. I was far from okay though. I screamed for hours and hours until I tired myself out. The following day mirrored the days prior.

I like to think that you got to experience everything in Heaven that you missed out on here, like prom, getting married, having a family. You would've been the most beautiful bride and I would've thrown you the best Bridal Shower ever. Even today, whenever I see a butterfly, I think of you. The Monarchs were your favorite. You said you loved the colors. You said you loved how small and gentle they were.

The Monarch butterfly is you.

It is small and it is beautiful. It is swift and it is gentle. It is fearless. It flies towards us fully knowing we could destroy it with ease, trusting that we won't. That was you. You faced life with a charisma that many of us lack. You smiled when you were in pain and found joy in the saddest of times. Many adults try for years and years to build that sort of charisma, that sort of strength. We all fall short time and time again. Yet it was effortless for you. You believed in the Father without question and I think because of that, He instilled in you a unwavering courage that left us all at a loss for words.

I miss you. I love you.

I buried a piece of my heart along with you. With you it will stay, forever. Until we meet again, Princess... Please continue to watch over me.

Sincerely,

Your Best Friend Yoselyn