It's been three and a half years since you died of cervical cancer. I was still nursing my son. I remember crying as I fed him. Crying as I told my boss. Every time I touch something you gave me or see pictures, I feel the ache that you aren't here too.
It had been two years since we'd spoken when you died. Too long. You know how that happens. You always think there will be more time.
We had fun. Remember high school? We called you Queen of the Band Hall? I still have the notes we passed. I read them and laugh. And then I cry. Because they're the last notes we'll ever share.
I love you. I remember the night your sister died. It was the worst thing I ever thought could happen. Until you got cancer.
I wish I'd been there for you more. Your family says it was a relief when the end came, because the pain was too great. And I hate that. But I think about you. I hope there is a part of you I can pass on to my children.
I look at my own kids, and I think, not them. No way. But your parents had three, lost two. How could that happen? I don't know. But it haunts me. And I'm not the only one.
We love you. We remember.