3 Weeks (PYHO)

Dear Anna,

I'm really enjoying writing these letters to you. It is really helping me deal with my feelings about you being in heaven and not here with me. I hope you're not rolling your eyes thinking I'm lame or too cheesy but even if you are, at least you're getting my letters! On my last letter to you, someone told me I probably don't even have to ask God to pass on my messages to you; that I probably have a direct line to you and I think she's right. I think I can communicate straight to you, and I'm glad.

I can't believe you've been gone 3 weeks now. The day that you went to heaven is permanently embedded in my mind; in some ways, it feels like just yesterday. In some ways, I wish I didn't have that memory of you when you stopped breathing. No matter how hard I try not to think about it, I can't erase that from my mind and in some ways I am afraid that that memory will take the place of the good ones. In some ways, I am scared that I won't remember the good times because towards the end they were so few and far between. In some ways, it is hard to remember a time when you were healthy and you were truly yourself.

Lately, I keep doing things that I feel like I should be doing with you. Last week, your friends and I watched Almost Famous, your favorite movie. I definitely saw why it was your favorite movie; you are Penny Lane! I remember when Mommy told you that after you met Manchester Orchestra and they invited you to Lollapalooza and Daddy said "no!!! She's not ready for that yet!" ha! After seeing the movie, I see why that scared him so much! But I definitely see that in you; you were a total "Band Aid". It made me so happy to see your favorite movie and to understand why you loved it so much (even though I still don't understand why "It's All Happening" is your favorite quote??), but at the same time it made me so sad that I didn't ever get to experience that with you. I keep telling myself that we were different people; we liked different things and that's ok. I know it didn't make us any less close just because we didn't share the same taste in music. But I wish I would've made more of an effort to at least let you tell me about the bands you were listening to or to have watched Almost Famous with you. I feel like I would've known you better if we had shared that and maybe we would even bond over it. I'm making an effort now, even though I can't do it with you, to learn about the stuff that you loved. I made a Manchester Orchestra Pandora station and I am learning about the music you love! I guess it's my way of carrying you with me.

You taught me so many important lessons, Anna. And not just me, but everyone around you has learned from you. At the JP2 memorial, everyone spoke about how little their problems mattered in comparison to what you went through and it is so true. You showed us that the little things are not big things and that even when you're faced with big things you can triumph and not let it get you down.

I'll always remember a time last year when we were at the Beach. We were getting ready together for family pictures and I was complaining the whole time; "I look fat in this outfit. My make up looks crappy. My hair isn't cooperating." "Why do you care so much," you asked me. "I'm just really insecure," I told you, "I know you wouldn't understand what that's like." I didn't mean it, but I was always so jealous of how skinny and pretty and seemingly perfect you were. I couldn't imagine that you'd ever felt insecure. You shot back, "Yeah, I have no idea what it's like to be insecure." I realized what I had just said and how wrong I was. This was the first time you'd seen people since you started treatment. I looked at you and saw your wig that was covering a completely bald head. Your fake eyelashes that hid the fact that yours had fallen out. Your acrylic nails that covered up yours which were completely dead from chemo. Your eyebrows that were penciled in where yours used to be. These were all physical testaments to the fight for your life, but they were also all things to be insecure about. That day, I realized I may be insecure about my weight and my looks. I may not feel pretty all the time but at least I have hair. At least I am not fighting like hell just to stay alive.

I know I've said it before but I'm not angry that you're gone. In a way I feel blessed. God knew his plans for you. He knew he was gonna take you to heaven and make you an angel. He knew you would be sick and need a lot of love and care and he chose us. He chose me and mommy and daddy to be your family and be by your side through this journey. He chose all your friends because he knew they would make you forget your pain and they would feel it with you too. It is pretty amazing to think that God gave you to us knowing your ultimate fate. For that I will be eternally grateful because I would not be who I am today if you weren't my sister.

Yesterday, I was asked if I have kids someday how I will tell them about you. What will I say that will help them feel like they know the Aunt they'll never get to meet? I thought a lot about it and you know what I'll tell them, Anna? I'll tell them that you are my hero. That you're the strongest person I've ever met. That you are the most beautiful person I've even known both inside and out. That you inspired millions of people and millions of prayers were said for you. That even though it is sad that you can't be with us here on Earth, that you are so special that God needed you more. That I miss you everyday and my heart will always hurt, but I am stronger because of you. That you are in heaven watching over them. That they have the best possible Aunt ever because they have an automatic guardian angel.

I love you so much, Anna and I will never ever forget you. Thank you for being my sister, my hero, my guardian angel. I hope you are having one hell of a time in heaven!

I am linking up today with Pour Your Heart Out at Shell's place.

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