I wish my words could adequately explain how much I miss seeing your smile and hearing your laugh. You were such a bright ray of sunshine in my life and now that you're gone, I can't help but remember all the times we had together.
You would think that it's the big things I remember most. I do remember those times, but it's the little things that I hold closest to my heart. It's the days Danielle and I walked into your house and said "Hi Grandma!!!" or when you'd ask me who I am and I'd say "I'll give you three guesses." You'd laugh and say "Oh hi Brianna."
It's hearing your books on tape, your sweet voice, the way your hair looked in the morning.
When we walk into your house, I can still see you sitting in the kitchen. Sometimes I forget and walk into the kitchen to tell you something, but you're not there. It doesn't take much effort for me to look out the back window and see you sitting in the chair on the patio. On a hard day when we're at your house, sometimes I like to sit there and feel you there.
Not a day passes by that I don't think of you. I think about the vacations we went on, Disney World, and simple visits. The lego necklace, the way you'd pat our backs, and how excited you always were to see anyone who walked in the door.
The hardest times come when I try to pick up the phone to call you but then remember there's no one on the other end. It kills me that you won't hear Danielle and I laughing anymore and say to us, "Oh, you giggling girls." Even though we won't hear that again, we still talk about you every single day. We think about you even more.
One of the best memories I have of you is not even a full personal memory, it's only a picture. I'm not sure how old we are, but we don't look older than second grade. I was wearing my Strawberry Shortcake onesie and Danielle was wearing her Dora nightgown. We did our baby dolls makeup and then did our own. We probably thought we looked beautiful. You smiled so effortlessly and we looked so happy. I was laughing like it was so fun (it looks like it was).
That picture is etched in my memory just like your words are in my brain.
Another picture that I hold close to my heart was taken right before I moved into school sophomore year. We were trying to take a picture together but you stopped to look at me, wrap your arm around me, and made me feel like I was truly the brightest star in the room. You made me feel special. That single moment was like so many moments before, but now I hold it so close to me.
There are so many moments I wish you could be a part of. When we went to the beach, I wanted to call you to tell you all about it. When we had "news," I wanted to call you to tell you. When we needed a break, I wanted to go to your house to see you.
We visit you all the time now. We play "The Gambler" twice for you every time we see you (which is so often). We planted flowers for you and talk to you all the time.
I miss you so much that it breaks my heart I'll never see you again. I wish you could still be here but I guess you can't. It hurt to tell you goodbye. I just hope you know how much I loved you and how much I still love you. I hope you see all I'm doing down here.
The worst part of it all is that we didn't get to have a big celebration of your life like we wanted to. We couldn't have many people there to say goodbye. We were only allowed at the hospital at the very end. It is so hard remembering and knowing that this is not the way you would have wanted it to be, even though we did the best given the circumstances. Losing you during this time made it so much harder.
Sometimes at night and on random days, I find myself only listening to songs that you listened to or ones that remind me of you. I search through my old pictures to find more of you. I hold one of your old shirts a little tighter. Words can't describe how much it hurts that you're not here with us anymore.
I hope you see the good things happening. I hope you see me graduate. I hope you see all the parts of my life I wish you were actually here for.
I miss you. I love you.