Dear Anna (letter 4)

Dear Anna,

I wrote to you on facebook last week and I told you that this week would be the one I would miss you the most. I am sad to say that is true. I know you here with us at the beach, but it is so hard to not have you here physically. This place is full of memories with you, memories of us spending time together and spending time with our family. It breaks my heart to think we won't have any more of those memories.

From the minute that we got here to the beach house, I found myself turning around looking for my beach week companion. Looking for the person who was my refuge when I needed a break from the family. Looking for the person who was my other half this week. We didn't always spend a lot of time together when I was home for the summer because we were busy living our own lives, but this for one week every summer we had no choice; we were stuck together at the beach. I have so many great memories from this week; playing cards, laughing at Mommy, and just being together. Even though we may have spent half the week fighting, we always got over it and went back to being friends. And that right there sums up our relationship; we didn't get along all the time. We didn't always see eye to eye. It wasn't all "I love you" all the time. But we both knew how much we meant to each other and no matter what, we remained friends. Even though I regret wasting the time I had with you fighting, I would gladly argue with you if it meant I could have you back here.

Today, I talked to someone about how I felt guilty for not being sad all the time. I miss you so much but for some reason I'm just not sad as much as I feel like I should be. In fact, sometimes I find myself picking other people up when they aren't feeling strong, when they miss you like crazy. I find myself being the one to comfort them and I know that is you working through me. That is exactly how you were; always putting other peoples feelings ahead of yours. That is why you never told your friends that you were dieing. You didn't want them to be sad. That is pretty amazing, Anna. Still, sometimes I feel guilty and confused by the fact that I am not the one falling apart. I have my moments like everyone else, of course, but for the most part I am ok. And that confuses me. Why am I ok? Why can I function without you when I never imagined I would be able to? I don't know. I know that I loved you and I know that you knew that, so why does it matter? I don't know. Anyway, my friend I talked to about this told me that it's because you have a special place in my heart and that brings me comfort instead of grief. I think he said it perfectly; you will always be in my heart and on my mind and I think you gave me the ability to be strong without you. Thank you for that, Anna.

Tonight was family picture night at the beach and it was one of the hardest things that we've had to do without you. It was heartbreaking to turn around and realize you weren't there. It was heartbreaking to have to take our individual family picture as a family of 3 and not 4. It was heartbreaking that there are now 7 grandchildren in the picture, not 8. It was heartbreaking that you weren't here for us to take our sisters pictures together. Remember 2 years ago at the beach Mommy took so many of us and we were laughing at her the whole time?! I miss that. I miss you, Anna.

I still can't believe you're gone and that you've been gone for 4 weeks. I can't believe it's been almost a month. I can't believe that I have to live the rest of my life without you.

Sometimes, I think about what life would be like if you were still here and every time, I don't wish for you to still to be and be sick; I wish that you would've never gotten sick. I know that if you were still alive right now, you'd be miserable. Your health was so bad at the end, that there's probably no way you would've even made it to the beach. It was so hard to see you suffer, and it gives me so much comfort knowing that you are no longer in pain. But it doesn't stop me from missing you. And it doesn't stop me from wishing that you'd never gotten sick because then not only would you be here with us, but you'd be healthy and able to live your life to the fullest.

I know why God chose you, and I am proud that he chose you because of the impact you had. Because you could handle it with the amazing grace that you did. Because you are just the kind of Angel that heaven needed. I understand why he chose you; that he had a plan for you but I still miss you.

I wish we could have one last conversation. One last hug. One last "I love you". Share one last laugh. One more day just to be together. But we can't. So, I'll do what I know you would want me to do; be strong. Keep floating on.  Just for you Anna...

I love you, and I miss you.



At the time I hated this picture, because I have like 3 chins, but now it is such a special memory and a great representation of our bond as sisters. <3 I miss that laugh...

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