It's hard to believe that you've been gone for almost two years. Let me tell you, it hasn't gotten any easier. Not having you here the last two years has been so difficult for me. You missed so many big events and accomplishments of not only me, but of the rest of the family as well. I know you have been watching down on us from up in Heaven, but it just isn't the same as having you here.
I think back to last year, my senior year of high school. It was a huge year for me. I was accepted to college, had straight A's on my whole transcript, was the Rotary Student of the Month and so much more. I think back to homecoming. The first homecoming I had a date. Then soon enough prom rolled around in the spring. It was so hard with you not being there. The hardest was graduation and my graduation party. It was all so beautiful and I know you provided us with beautiful weather on all three of those special days.
I never in a million years thought that you wouldn't be there with me on prom to tell me how beautiful I looked or at graduation to tell me how proud you were. Or the fact that you couldn't take me shopping before I left for college. It hurts to this day and there's not a day that goes by that I don't wish I could call you.
So much has happened since you left. Chris and Andrea got married. Erika got a new job. Lauren and Tom bought a house together. Michael and I are at Waynesburg together and Billy is at Slippery Rock. Zac is a senior and starts varsity football. Nick got braces. Marissa made the varsity soccer team as a freshman. Kylie got a phone. Isaac plays club soccer now and Jude is playing baseball. And not-so-little Keira started cheerleading.
But things haven't been the same since you left. Family events aren't the same; if we even have them. Holidays aren't the same, trips to Erie, sporting events, family dinners etc. You held our family together. You were the rock. You made sure someone always had holiday or that we made it to Erie at least one time in the summer. It makes me so angry that things aren't the same. It's not fair.
I'll never forget all the memories. From the sleepovers and movie nights at your house, to the lunch dates, to the family dinners at my house. Even all the times we played board games, or that one time we played Apples to Apples and you were so mad because you had no idea how to play, but you ended up winning! From all the trips to Erie and splash lagoon to every grandkid's sports event or musical. You were there for it all and it meant the world to us. I don't think we all really showed how much we appreciated it, but I want you to know that we did and any one of us would do anything to see you up in the stands or out in the audience rooting us on.
I always said to myself that once I got my license I would come hang out with you more often and we could get lunch and play board games and color and just talk about life. I'm sorry that never happened. I wish I could go back. I regret it everyday. I always put it off and and thought once I could drive it be easier. But even when I could drive, I still put it off and by the time I finally wasn't busy and wanted to be with you, it was too late and it will be something I regret forever.
If there's one thing that I've learned since you left us, it would be to appreciate life and the time you are given. Life is so short. People come and go so quickly. Don't dwell on the past or any mistakes you've made. Spend time with those who build you up, and encourage you. Surround yourself with those who you love and they love you back. Happiness and laughter are so important in life and it's too short to hold grudges and be angry. Remember to say, "I love you". Remember to take time out of your day to spend it with your grandparents and if you can't do that, give them a call or even a text if they're "technology savvy". You never know when each moment is going to become a simple memory.
I'm so grateful for the time we did spend together and all that you did get to see us do. Everyone misses you greatly. I'd do anything to have one more moment with you. I hope you're living it up in Heaven. Say hi to Uncle Joe for us.
Your 'favorite' granddaughter