I was born August 15, 1998 -- three years, one month and two days after you would have been born.
For many years, I had no idea you ever existed. I had no clue that my best friends went through the trauma of having a miscarriage before they had me. It wasn’t until I began to put together the pieces of why everyone was so nervous when mom was pregnant with me that I understood -- you were the one they lost.
They found out around Valentine’s Day in 1995, which would mean you would be 21-years-old now. I wonder what you would have done for your 21st birthday and what your favorite beer would have been. Would you have been my older brother or my older sister? Personally, I think you would have been my older sister. I even gave you a name, Erin. It’s the Irish word for Ireland and somehow it seems fitting. But mom feels like you were a boy. Either way, I know you would have been a perfect older sibling.
How different would the rest of our family and I be if you were here with us? Would mom and dad have had Shannon? Would there have been three of us? I wonder what you'd look like. Would you look like dad with red hair and pale skin or more like mom, with tan skin and bright blue eyes? Would you be tall and skinny like most of Shannon or shorter like me?
I wonder if you would be in college right now. Would you be studying something like I am or something totally different? Would you be the head of a sports team or the captain of the chess team? Or would you be doing something totally different, maybe even traveling the world or something like that?
I wonder what your personality would be like. Would you watch Sunday night Football with me and dad or prefer to binge watch Netflix shows all day? Would you be a city kid or more of a Long Island girl? There is one thing I know for sure: you would be kind and loving, just like mom and dad taught Shannon and I to be.
There are days, like today, that I think about you more often than other days. These days are the ones that remind me of how lucky I am. I hope you watch over us all and keep us all on the right track. Although I may have never met you, you’re still my older sibling. I hope you are proud of who I am and what we’re all accomplishing.
I wish I had the opportunity to meet you because I know I would have so many questions for you. It's bittersweet thinking about you and all the ways that you would have made our lives, and the world, a better place. It gives me comfort knowing that you are at peace, probably looking down on our crazy family and smiling with us.
Though I may not know how your death has changed me and made me who I am today. It changed how I grew up and the way I was loved. I was cherished with not only the love my family had for me but for the baby they never had the opportunity to meet. I am thankful for my parent’s strength and courage to try again. Every day of my life I have been blessed with the gift of my parent’s unconditional love for my sister and I.
The truth is that the possibilities of what life could have been like if you were around are endless. I love you so much Erin, even though you're not here physically. You'll always be in my heart.
Thank you for blessing me with a little sister that I love more than anything and for a healthy family that I cherish every day, Erin. Though I think about you most days, I don’t let what might have been stop me from enjoying every second I have with my family.
I love you,
Your Little Sister