Since you have been gone, I have thought of you every day. I have struggled every day on trying to not give up hope in my faith, and at the end of every day, I realize that I can go on. How dramatic it must seem knowing that after 11 years, I still hope to hear your voice again. As impossible as it may seem, I still hold out hope. What hurts the most is never knowing if you know how much you truly meant to me, and how much you still mean to me.
You were the person who lit up a room. Everyone wanted to speak to you, and when you laughed, so did everyone else. Your humor and smile was contagious and infectious. I know that it has been years, but I never remember you being sad. That is what I loved most. It never mattered if you had a bad day, because you still find a way to be happy. If someone else had a bad day, you would do your best to remedy that. No matter how upset someone was, you were able to change all that. You wouldn't have to say anything either, it was being in presence that left people feeling calmed and loved. How I long for that every day.
My whole world changed the day I heard the news of your death. I still remember being called to the front office at school to be signed out, and how naively I believed that I was going home early as a treat. Some days I wish I could go back and run the other way. That maybe if I somehow never heard the news, it would change everything. That is not how the world works, and sadly I have come to learn this.
How can I say that my life has been changed for the better if it means a lifetime without you? To me, it felt that everyone wanted to erase your memories, no one wanted to speak, or tell stories of you. I wanted to scream so badly at everyone when I was younger because I did not understand how they could just move on without you. Now that I am older, I realize that it was not because they wanted to forget and move on, but rather it was too painful to reminisce. How is it that after so long I can still feel the hurt like it was only yesterday?
Do you think of me, as much as I think of you? I believe in an afterlife, and more importantly, I believe in heaven. I know without a shadow of a doubt that you are there. I find comfort in knowing this, however, I find pain in the fact that it is so far from us. It was at your death that I saw my father cry for the first time, and what an impression that made. Because of your death, I learned just how deeply you were loved, and deeply you are still loved.
Do you know that I sleep with your bible by my bed? On nights when I feel too lost, I even sleep with it under my pillow. As silly as it may be, I just feel as though I can still hear you turning the pages and reading your sermons. Though it may only be a small piece of you, it still a piece of you, and that is what matters most. I have come to cherish the passages that have been written within, and have come closer in my faith because I can find peace in knowing that this is something you would want for me and that I want for myself.
Since you've been gone, I admire the things you built with your hands more and more. I know how much time you took to dedicate to it, just as you did in your life. You took your time with people and encouraged them to take their time. One can always appreciate the beauty in something that they had to wait and strive for. I learn this lesson more and more every day when I think of my time with you.
If I could ask for one more day with you, I wouldn't. Strange, right? I would love nothing more than to be a little girl again and sit next to you and listen to your voice, while you slipped me a peppermint. However, I know that asking for one more day would be selfish of me, and would just make me want one more eventually leading to me never letting go.
I know with my heart you are at peace, and one day I will be as well. However, people lie and time does not heal all wounds. It simply helps make them a little less painful. I love you, and you loved me. For now, that is all I need to know. I just want you to know how much I have missed you and continue to miss you. Today officially makes 11 years, and I am still just as sad now as I was then. However, my love for you has never changed. It has only grown deeper.