I think about you everyday. Everything I do has a little bit of you inside. The way I wash the dishes, fold the laundry, raise my children. This year has been full of ups and downs and big events. I only wish you were here for even a simple phone call to tell you about my achievements and failures.
You were my best friend. My rock. You had so much life in you and so much more life to live. Even though you had a lot of mental struggles you tried to hide from everyone, you were always smiling.
I'll always remember the day that I got the call that you tried to kill yourself. It pains me to think that you thought that was the only way. That there was no hope. Visiting you in the psychiatric world was one of the most terrifying things I have come to witness.
A few years later, I got the call that something happened to you. You were being flown to a larger hospital to do more extensive tests. Walking in that day to see your beautiful, long, curly brown hair completely gone. Wires attached to every naked surface on your head. A fresh, red cut that ran down your head. The waiting room during the surgery was so silent you could someone walking three floors down. Nobody dared to talk. A brain aneurism, they told us. But it was okay; they had taken care of it. They told us that you would recover nicely. You were sedated for two weeks before they broke the news to us on your birthday.
The day I hate to think about. The day we had to make the hardest decision of my life. The day we had to say goodbye.
They told us you had suffered a stroke and would be a vegetable. You were brain dead. You no longer be able to enjoy a beer, or laugh, or talk, watch your birds, love on your dog, garden, or kayak.
I was numb. I didn't want to leave your side but if I didn't leave when I did, I would have never left. It was for the best. You would have never wanted to live that way.
I had told you I was pregnant with your first grandchild three days before you were hospitalized. You were so happy even though I was so scared. I knew I would have you by my side through all of it though. Or so I thought.
I so often think about you with my children. They would have loved you, as I did, and you have adored them.
Do you know how hard it is to go through life without your own mother? To get married, have children, and move across the country without your mother? Having to say goodbye to her when you are 19-years-old?
Whenever something big happens in my life, I wish I could call you to tell you the news. I wish to hear your contagious laugh and soothing voice again, the way you snorted when you laughed.
Your loss brought us siblings closer but the rest of the family fell apart. Family gatherings were pointless. Something always hangs in the air.
The worst part is, people always bring it up and ask how we're doing. Or tell me my mother would be so proud.
I do not want to talk about what I think about everyday and dream about so often.
You used to come to me in my dreams. How I wish you would return.
But until the day we are together again, I have to continue to learn to live without you.