I’m grateful this day comes each year. It forces itself upon us whether we want it to come or not. I try to remember, I try to be grateful, I try to communicate, but it’s all getting harder with time. When the memories were fresh, it was so easy to reminisce and to feel you. Now, it seems faded like old photographs, and it takes focus and effort to remember. It’s sad, but gone are the days when you’re on my mind constantly. I’d love to think about you every day, but new obstacles and new blessings now occupy my mind, and the responsibility and honor of raising another one as good as you weighs. I’ve become distracted. Some days I just forget. I want you to know the last thing I want is to replace you. You will always occupy my mind, my body, my spirit. I will use my memory of you in my every effort of molding Ava. I promise I will try to remember our time together more often. I promise I will never forget.
It’s confusing to have something to look forward to in this world and to have something to look forward to in the next. It leaves me ambivalent, and really all I can do now is watch in wonder as I experience what Mom and Dad experienced watching you grow up. I now have a tiny speck of perspective to imagine the pain they must’ve felt when you left — the pain they still feel. I’m grateful for all you taught me, and I have no doubt Ava will grow up to be strong, loyal, and passionate: just like how you showed me to be.
I know you’re still here: still waiting, still watching, and still laughing right alongside us. Growing older sometimes makes it harder to feel the magic that is all around us. Sometimes it just takes dedication to focus on seeing what’s not easily seen. Sometimes we just need to have faith and believe. I know you understand why and how things have changed. We’re all lucky to have had you in our lives while you were in your physical body, and we’re still lucky to have you watching over us. I look forward to when I get to see your spirit firsthand again. We won’t need those old photographs anymore.