Dear Uncle Nevie,

I never really thought that I would be writing this letter, not now, not ever, but I am incredibly happy to write it. I miss you deeply more and more each day and want you to know how much I have accomplished over the past 12 years and how much you have affected my life.

I remember being little (like seven or eight years old) and seeing you almost every day. Whether you came to our apartment or we went to yours, you were always there. You called me "Girlie" when you saw me and gave me a little pink princess hat. I even remember you completely engulfing me when the dog tried to get me, putting yourself at risk.

It was 12 years ago, this past November that we lost you, and 12 years since I wrote my speech for your funeral. It was one of my most remembered memories from that time, standing up in front of all our family and friends (we both know I hate crowds) as a little ten-year-old. Mom and grandma sat in the front row watching me. Gram had no idea what was in store.

My speech went a like this:

"My name is Sierra. Nevin was my Uncle. I called him Nevie. He called me Girlie. I would always steal his hat. Nevin helped me whenever I needed it. He was always a very helpful person. I love my uncle Nevie very much and so did his family and friends. I will miss him very much but know he will always be watching over me from heaven. This is for you uncle Nevie."

As I read the line "This is for you Uncle Nevie," I took out my pretty pink princess hat out from the inside of the podium and plopped it right on top of my head, inside the church and everything. I looked up at everyone in the room, my dad over on the right side, my aunt who helped edit my speech, my mom and grandma in the front. Everyone had tears in their eyes, that's when I knew I accomplished my goal.

I showed everyone how important you were and how much you meant to me.

Every day, I think about you, and how much I miss you. I know you're constantly there looking down on me but I cannot help but wish you were here to see everything I've accomplished since you left. So I decided to write you a letter to give you a little bit of insight.

You passed away when I was in fourth grade, I don't remember much from middle or elementary school other than, I was one of the smart kids. But I graduated eighth grade and got ready for high school, which let's be honest was both terrifying and amazing at the same time. I went to high school, played field hockey and softball (I'm sure you're not surprised) and managed the boy's ice hockey team.

I took all honors classes, got decent grades, and survived. I had a long term boyfriend, for like 3 ish years. Fell in love, fell out of love. No, you do not need to kill anyone. Then it was time to apply to college, I applied to 13 got accepted to nine of those schools and committed to the University of Maine. I received an amazing financial aid package and enough scholarships to go through my undergraduate almost debt free.

I knew I wanted to be a doctor, I knew I had at least four years of school after Maine, so I picked the school with the best financial package. I was skeptical but shortly fell in love with Orono and worked so incredibly hard to make get into graduate school. The best way to describe applying to graduate school is TERRIFYING. But my hard work paid off, I was accepted to ALL four schools that I applied to.

Now I am just getting ready to finish my final semester at the University of Maine, graduate and then move across the country to Oregon to pursue my Doctorate of Chiropractic Degree alongside a Masters Degree in Sports Medicine. I have a dream of working with athletes at the highest level with my degrees.

So Uncle Nevie, it has been 12 long years, I have accomplished an incredible amount and been through even more. I wish you could be here to witness everything, watch me walk across that graduation stage not once but twice. Although you aren't here every day, I know you are watching over me. I know you would be incredibly proud of me.

Love and miss you every day,

Girlie