Thursday, August 14, 2014

Little One

Let me start this post by saying I realize that I am not the first woman to be pregnant.  I’m sure it seems like a pretty normal thing to most people.  I mean, my Facebook newsfeed pops up with pregnancy announcements from various people on a daily basis.  It’s the age group I guess.   The general order goes as such: engagement announcements, then wedding pictures, honeymoon, etc., and then finally, (or in our case, very quickly) sonogram photos follow.  But regardless of how simple and “normal” it may seem to the world, I can tell you as the woman carrying this soon-to-be person, it is far from a normal experience.  Every day feels like a momentous occasion.  Every time I realize my belly is bigger, every time I think I feel her moving – it is a huge event for me. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who’s going to sit here and romanticize this whole pregnancy thing.  Honestly, I spent years (as most girls do) trying really hard NOT to get pregnant.  The beginning of pregnancy felt more like a parasite than a human as I tried to keep food down and barely got out of bed.  The “side effects” and “symptoms” of pregnancy range from gross to just downright weird.  (Trust me, you have no idea.)  And I sincerely have to question the women who just “loveeeeee” being pregnant (my mom included).  I did, however, never forget how much of a privilege it is to be pregnant.  I have always known that I wanted to be a mother someday, and the thought of not getting that chance is a type of heartbreak I cannot even fathom.  So even on my sickest days, I made sure to take a moment to remember how truly lucky I am. 

Now that I’m in the midst of the second trimester and feel almost human again, I think I’m finally starting to think of this little alien inside of me as a real person.  Knowing she’s a girl (which I knew in my heart from day one, but has since been confirmed through medical technology), picking out a name, and watching Danny fall more and more in love with the idea of her has certainly made it more real.  I admit I was afraid in the beginning.  I confess I still am.  It’s my medical knowledge, it’s my professional and personal knowledge of all the bad things that happen to people, it’s my firsthand experience of loss, and bottom line, my overwhelming anxiety that contribute to this fear.  What if. . . [insert a thousand possible tragic scenarios here]. 

What I’ve sort of had to teach myself in these almost five months is this baby is a person.  She’s not a medical condition – she’s a gift that’s been given to me.  Yes, a million things could go wrong – with the rest of the pregnancy, with the rest of her life, for that matter – but worrying about all those possibilities just takes away from the happiness we have right now. 

Through everything that has happened in my life, I have fought to hold onto that sparkle of hope that we are all born with.  That belief that all good things will win in the end, even if that belief has been tested time and time again.  And I have to admit it hasn’t been easy, but somehow knowing that it’s my job to help this little person hold onto that belief as well has given me a newfound strength that I did not know I had. 

I want our little girl to believe in magic, in the goodness of people, and the world for as long as she possibly can.  I know that inevitably things will happen to shake that belief.  And I will do my best to prepare her for those times.  Thinking about it now, I feel for my own sweet mother who tried her best to shield me from the bad parts of the world.  How hard it must have been to watch the difficult, unfair things overshadow the good in my life for some time. 

I like to think that I have more to offer this child now than I would have had I never faced difficulty.  I always admired my mother’s strength, and it in turn, strengthened me.  I will be honest with my daughter.  Bad things happen.  And those things often don’t make sense.  But that doesn’t mean we shy away from the things that make us happy.  Life is not meant to be lived in fear of the unknown.  All we can do is make the most of what we’re given, the time we’re given, the happiness we have today. And I'll make sure she knows she will always have a safe place to come home to when the world seems unkind.  

Having Danny by my side gives me such reassurance and happiness.  The ONE thing I NEVER worry about is what kind of father he will be.  This little one and I are both incredibly lucky.

I know exactly what thought will cross my mind when I hold her for the first time.  I will think to myself how brand-new she is.  How untouched by the world.  How her heart is unbroken and so open to all the beautiful things this life has to offer.  And how I will do my best to protect it.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Two Years Ago


At this time, two years ago today, I was curled up with my face buried in your shirt.  I had already lost you several hours ago, but little did I know that hearing your last heart beat {See this post} would not serve to be the only traumatic part of that day. I had thought about losing you over and over again, imagining (morbidly) what it would feel like.  I've learned that the brain does that for survival. . . it tries to prepare and figure out if you can make it through the event you keep thinking about.  What would it feel like? Would I survive?

But I never thought about the other stuff that goes along with death.  Having to call your mom and tell her the news, calling your best friend in the world and telling him. . .  waiting . . . simultaneously wishing for more time alone with you and someone to show up to fill the emptiness. Dealing with the police officers who to this day, I wish I had taken their names because they were so insensitive and awful to me.  Being asked by the funeral director to pick out clothes for you to be buried in.  Hiding in the bathroom while the funeral home carried your body out in my favorite Pottery Barn sheets.  These are things no one can ever prepare you for.  These are the things that made your death seem casual, messy, and like something else that just happens in life.  I hated every second of it.  I'm not sure what I wanted to happen.  I knew angels were not going to come down and carry you away in front of my eyes, but I just wanted something more.  I wanted the rest of the world to feel the gravity of the loss, too.  I wanted the policemen to be kind, and respectful and recognize all we had gone through -- maybe I wanted some sort of credit for dealing with all of this alone, for the most part.  Didn't they know who we had lost?? But it never came.  The sun came up against my wishes.  Papers were signed, an outfit was selected, and you were gone.  Suddenly, our tiny apartment felt huge.

There was a sense of finality in that last moment; an emptiness that I'm not sure I will ever be able to fully put into words; a sense of defeat.  We had lost.  You were gone.  And in those few seconds of silence where your heart beat was supposed to be, the world got a little darker, and the future seemed blurry.

Two years later, I can still close my eyes and feel every second of that day.  I hate today because I almost want to just skip past it.  I hate commemorating it.  It's not your birthday, or another special day -- it's a bad memory, a life-changing event that causes flashbacks for me, and causes pain in the hearts of the people who love you most.

Sitting in that apartment two years ago, the concept of going on with my own life seemed out of the question.  I never thought my heart would open up to someone else, or that, two years later, I'd be the happiest I've ever been. Remember last year when I told you I was going back to school after taking that time off? Well, I have three months left! I hope I make you proud.  There are so many things I wish I could tell you, but deep down, I know you already know.  I know you are responsible for so many of the happy things in my life, and the lives of the people closest to you.  I can't thank you enough for sending me Danny.  Our hearts are the same.  I could not have picked a better person for my husband, and I feel so incredibly lucky to be loved by him every day.

What I want to make clear is, I will never ever be without you.  Being with you, and losing you, shaped who I am as a person to my very core.  You are with me in so many little ways, every single day.

You're in my words, in the way I approach things, in every ounce of confidence I have.  I believe in myself a little more because you always believed in me.  Every time I laugh at a joke about poop, you're with me. Every time I giggle with your sister, or tease your mom or listen to Almost 6' 6", you're with me.  Every time I try to correct my grammar, or edit my own paper, you're with me.  Every time I put mayo and mustard on a sandwich, you're with me.  Every time I look at Danny and smile, you're with me.  I know it might sound strange to some, but you taught me to love fiercely.  And inevitably you taught me that life is too short, to wait around for the "right time" to do things. You are in everything that makes me, me.  You are what I like most about myself. You brought so much magic to this world in such a short amount of time.  I feel lucky to have shared so many memories with you, and so privileged that you chose me to share your life and inner most self with.

I will never stop missing your presence in this world. I will never forget all that you taught me.  As the years go by, as they invariably will, the light you brought to my life will never fade.  The world and the people you touched will always shine a little brighter for having known you.

I know you are safe.  That you are happy.  That everything makes sense to you now. I can feel it.

Two years, or two thousand,

I carry your heart.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rain, Rain

I usually hate rainy days.  Unless you're in The Notebook, making out in a storm, the rain is not romantic.  It makes me moody (i.e., moodier than usual), and it makes even simple things (like grocery shopping) more difficult.  It makes people drive 5 mph as if they have blindfolds on.  It's messy.  It's gray.  But sometimes, it's a good excuse to be lazy, to be sad, to be pissed off at the world, and to let all the things you normally push out of your mind, seep in.  

Today, my mood matches the rain.  I know I'll be totally fine tomorrow.  I know later I'll read this blog and think how whiney I sound, how dramatic.  But today, I think this weather is perfect.  If it were sunny today, maybe I'd write about all the AMAZING things going on in my life.  My rapidly-approaching, beautiful wedding, the impending marriage to the man of my dreams, my adorable dog, my supportive family, my ethereal wedding gown, my less than 9 months of school before becoming an NP, my super fun friends who keep me smiling, my health. . . Yes, I have tons to be thankful for.  But let's be honest, no one really wants to read about that stuff.  And I'd be a liar if I said rainy days make me smile and think of how lucky I am. 

No, today is a blah day.  Today, I'm not going to feel guilty about feeling sorry for myself.  I feel like being sad, and I think I'm allowed to be.  Those who are close to me know there are a lot of things going on in my personal life, and today, for once, I'm not going to pretend that it's all easy.  

Rain makes me think of living in Manhattan.  You know, that other life of mine that wasn't too long ago, but seems like a lifetime ago.  Nothing is worse than trudging through city puddles of brown water.  I've come to believe that almost every single girl in Manhattan owns Hunter rain boots.  They are a necessity.  Out in Suffolk, I'm usually one of very few people wearing them . . . and sometimes I smile to myself, as if I know something they don't.  Pssh these people clearly never had walk through the West Village in a downpour.  These boots were my armor as I fought my way to the nearest Starbucks.  There was no hopping in the car to drive two blocks.  Ahh how 50 miles away can seem like worlds.  

Rain also makes me think of tears.  Obvious, right? But I mean, c'mon.  Had to throw that one in there.

I remember when Jon was sick, I prayed for rain.  I hated waking up in our shoebox bedroom to the sunshine. For a split second when I first opened my eyes and felt the sun on my face, it felt like everything was ok, until reality set in.  I remember being so angry that the sun was still shining even though he was dying.  It didn't seem right.  And during his burial, why was it sunny? Why wasn't it thundering, the way my body felt it should be.  Why wasn't it freezing? How could I feel this warm? How is it that the world lost someone so bright, yet the earth was still turning? I imagine anyone who ever lost someone (or endured the process of losing someone) can relate to these feelings. 

Because of what I've been through, I find my newest determination in life is doing everything I can so that the people I love never have to experience this.  I know how damaged parts of me are, and I just want to protect others from ever feeling these things.  From ever having to carry bad memories.  It's like a secret club I don't want to be a part of.  Sadly, add this to the list of things I cannot control.  

When Danny and I first started dating, believe it or not we talked about our losses.  He let me cry about Jon, while I listened to his experience losing his father.  Though very different, there was enough similarity that I believe, it brought us closer on a deeper level.  I would do anything to protect him from ever feeling anything even remotely like that again.  But I'm only human.  What I've learned over the years is that although there's little I can control, I'm really good at loving the crap out of people.  So that's what I'll do.  Just love him, more and more every day. . . that parts easy.  :) I like to think love forms a protective barrier.  That although it can't change what obstacles come our way, it can shield us, even if it's slightly, from the hurt and pain that life throws at us. 

I know that being loved is what got me through losing Jon. . . the love I knew he had for me surrounded me even in the toughest, hope-crushing moments.  My mom --  well that's another blog altogether -- but her love has always been a cushion from the blows of the world.  Countless others. . . I won't sit here and say "I wouldn't have survived" because, I would have.  I'm not a quitter.  But it would've been an even harder battle, and I'm not sure how well I would have come out on the other side.  

So love someone.  You never know when they'll need that little forcefield of protection.  Your love might make all the difference.  It just might be the thing that reminds them that, soon, it will stop raining.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dear Jon


Last week, I was on my way to the gym (which is way too far from where I live).  I got stuck in traffic and missed the class I wanted to take.  For some reason, I kept driving.  I had this thought that came out of nowhere that I would drive all the way to NJ to the cemetery to see you.  I haven't been to the cemetery on my own.  I've only been there for your memorial, and I admit, my wall was up as high as it'd ever been that day.  I didn't let myself really feel the depth of what I was seeing that day -- your name, your dates, beloved son, brother and perhaps most bittersweet, SOULMATE.  I don't know what made me want to go there.
I never understood people who take comfort in visiting a headstone.  I just don't get it.  I'd rather sit on a bench in Riverside Park where we spent countless afternoons, or stop on the Palisades overlook, or listen to a song you wrote.  There's comfort being in places you've been, places you've touched.  
I never actually made it to the cemetery.  I got all the way to the bridge and saw bumper-to-bumper traffic.  Something inside me decided you wouldn't want me to spend a sunny day in traffic just to visit a headstone. . . one I'm not sure I'd be able to find on my own anyway.  

You've been on my mind a lot lately.  I know I say this in every blog, but I still have a hard time letting myself believe this all really happened.  I know how unhealthy that sounds. What makes it even more difficult is the juxtaposition of my life right now.  I'm so happy.  I'm so excited for my life with Danny.  But that doesn't diminish how happy I was.  How excited we were. And all that has happened in the last year and half. 

It's so hard to explain, but somewhere deep down, I know we weren't meant to spend our lives together.  I mean, we should have been able to, but somehow, without really knowing, I know that it just wasn't meant to happen that way.  I'm not sure who decides what's meant to be and what's not, but I strongly feel in my heart that things happened the way they were supposed to.  Not that that changes how angry I am about it.

I read this quote the other day and it really hit home.  We always said we were soulmates.  People always think soulmates are meant to be together forever.  But maybe this makes more sense.  We were meant to meet exactly when we did and spend the exact amount of time we did together.  Though I know I will always wonder what would've happened if we had made different decisions -- chosen different treatment or gone to a different doctor -- deep down, I know there were no wrong choices.  In the end, you enjoyed your life.  You were home, with me.  No hospitals, no residents surrounding your bed, no abrupt wake ups for examinations.  We kept as much control as we could.  I can say with complete certainty that every touch you felt was love.  Every word you heard during your last hours, was love.  That's more than so many people get . . . and so much more than most people get to give. 

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mates purpose is to shake you up. . . break your heart open so new light can get in. . ."

Not sure how two people can be so unlucky and lucky at the same time. I do know that you changed who I am . . . down to my core, I am a better, stronger, calmer, more loving person. 

I miss my best friend.  Katie and I talked about you the other day.  We laughed a lot.  You always had that effect on us.   I know you must be so proud of your baby sister.  She is turning into such an amazing woman.  I credit a lot of that to you.  You always had that effect on people, too.  I will always be grateful for the family you brought me into.  A family that continues to support me, not to mention two of the bravest women I know.  I can't thank you enough for bringing such amazing, truly good, people into my life.  

I don't feel weird telling you how happy I am, and how in love.  I talk to Danny about you quite often.  He knows that you will always be in my heart.  He knows I believe you brought him into my life.  

I've been doing pretty well in school.  I think I even figured out what I want to do when I graduate.  I hope I make you proud.  

I know you'll be smiling down on my wedding day.  That may sound weird to some people, but I don't think you feel jealousy or bittersweetness... I think, wherever you are, you know that this is how things were meant to turn out.  And though part of me will always mourn the life we didn't get to have, I feel peace knowing you are with me every step of this beautiful life I'm going to get to have.  

Chickens 4L.
Love you. 


"I want it all, some kind of wonderful... " <3>

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Jon's Memorial

“There is an ache in my heart for the imagined beauty of a life I haven't had, from which I had been locked out, and it never goes away.” 

I wasn't going to say anything today, but I kept having this nagging feeling inside that I should.  Jonathan always had the right words.  He would've thought of something so profound to say.  He also probably would've hated the idea of us standing in a cemetery a year later, but I'm sure he appreciates all of us coming together one way or another.

It's been 449 days since Jonathan left us.  I know this year has been hard for all of us.  There were some dark places along the journey this year, but what keeps me pushing forward is Jon's attitude.  He would never have wanted any of us to dwell on our loss.  Just keep moving... let yourself be sad, cry... and then fight to be happy. Fight to do all the things he would have done but didn't get the chance to.  That's all he would have wanted... all he still wants for all of us.  When I stop moving for a second though, and close my eyes, the thought of Jon not being in this world anymore still has the ability to shake me to my core.  It will never feel right that he's not in this world, brightening it with his smile, calming it with his words, and igniting it with his talent.  

What I've learned is to take him with me.  I am forever-changed for having had Jon in my life... for having been loved by him.  The reason we miss him so much is because of how much he brought to our lives.  We are lucky to have that piece of Jon as a part of us, forever.  We are better because of him, in every aspect.  Every person we meet will know a better part of us, because we are truly better people for having had Jon in our lives.  

Right before he died, Jon was worried about being forgotten. I'm sure he is smiling down on us as I say this now, seeing how silly that was.  Mostly what I think he was afraid of was being remembered in the wrong way... in a sad way.  Yes, losing Jon is probably the reason all of us know first-hand how short life can be, and how tragic, but (and I struggle with this myself) that's not what he would want us to remember or learn from his time on earth.  Make him the reason you know that amazing people exist.   Make him the reason you never settle because you know all he would have done if given the chance.  Let him be the reminder that true love, true friendship exists. That a person can be stronger than we ever imagined to be possible.  That we are all stronger than we think.  He was able to do so much in such a short time... to teach us all so much.  It would be so wrong to not live these lives we've been blessed with to the fullest.  

He lives on in all of us.  He is the warmth we feel on sunny days.  He is a silly joke that makes us smile to ourselves.  He is in our old memories, and we take him with us on every new experience, on every occasion or event he would be at if only this universe made sense.  He is the spark of an idea, or a song.  

He is the fight inside me, the strength I've built.  He is the heart of me, the reason I believe in love.  The reason I refuse to settle for less than wonderful. He is the faith I have in myself.  Jon is the best part of me.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Good Stuff

When I met Jon, I swear the earth stopped moving for a moment.  I'm not trying to be completely sappy and romantic.  That's actually not how I mean it at all.  I don't want to say it was love at first sight.  The only way I can describe it is like getting hit in the face.  My world stopped for a split second, and though I could not put my finger on it at the time, it was like hearing a voice in my head say, 'He's going to be important.  This moment  is important . . .  life-changing."  I'm not sure if that makes sense.  I had experienced moments like that to a much lesser degree a few times before that.  

I was watching Forest Gump the other night while Danny and I were both sick, and at the end, Forest talks about how some people believe in destiny and others say we're just floating around 'accidental-like' on the breeze... and how he believes it's a little of both.  I have to agree.  The only way I can really explain it is that the moment I met Jonathan (and the somewhat similar moments I'd experienced previously) was a "destiny" moments.  Moments like that are rare and they serve almost as a reminder -- as if to tell us (in case we were wondering) some things are NOT coincidences . . . the choices we make are life-altering, and this one right here, well, it's is a BIG one.  You're gonna remember this one. And maybe, just maybe, there is something bigger than us guiding us along, at least for the important decisions. 

I believe without a shadow of a doubt, that I was meant to love Jon.  That I was meant to enter his life at that EXACT time I did.  And though it pains me to say, perhaps, I was meant to lose him.  I'm not sure why I was part of that plan, but as painful of a journey as it's been, I feel nothing but blessed.  Someone or something chose me to love him, when he needed to be loved the most.  And yes, my loss is profound, but I share it with the hundreds of other people who miss him every day . . . and we share the common despair over what he could have done with more time, as well as the pride in all he accomplished in the time he had.  I feel lucky to have been one of the lucky ones who got to know him and be a part of his life.  The people who knew him, grew up with him, loved him . . . they will always hold a special place in my heart.  More than anything, I know how lucky I was that he chose me to love back.  

Right after he died, EVERYthing was a sign.  I like to think that at least some of the little things I noticed or small coincidences were in part his doing . . . his way of reminding me that he was thinking of me.  But, now it takes a hell of a lot to get me see it as a sign.  Maybe it's because I've experienced REAL, life-changing, world stop spinning moments.  I think when you know, you know.  And there will be big and small reassurances that you're on the right path.  

Take the moment I saw Danny for the first time, for instance.  It felt like my brain emptied of all it's thoughts, except that I wanted to know him. And not just because I thought he was attractive.  It's hard to articulate, but it was so much deeper than that.  There was that "he's important!!" sign flashing in my head.  And little did I know just how important he would turn out to be . . . or how wonderful.  

And now, every important future moment that I see in my head, has him in it.  I know without question, that I'm where I'm supposed to be and I'm loving who I'm supposed to love.  The hard part for me is letting go of the irrational thoughts in my mind that say, what if I lose him, too? At least I know I'm being crazy.  It's just that Jon and I made plans that never happened.  Yes, Jon had cancer.  Yes, there was a constant, realistic threat to all of our plans . . . Unfortunately, the possibility of losing him was always a rational thought.  But I'm still scared.  Mainly because I think a person's heart can only take so much.  I am afraid to dream sometimes.  But little by little, as pieces fall together, I can breathe a little easier and recognize how silly I'm being.  I don't know if I'll ever let my guard down completely though.

I've given this man my heart . . . and he holds it, ever so gently, knowing how fragile it is.  Jon and I used to say, "Only good stuff from now on." I hear that in my head sometimes when I'm sitting next to Danny on the couch and I look over and can't help but smile.  I know Jon would be happy about all the "good stuff" in my life . . . and all the beautiful, sparkling moments yet to come. 

" The heart is made of the only substance in the universe that gets stronger after it has been broken."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

To you, Love, me

Dear Jon,

At around 1 am tonight, I know I will wake up.  I don't want to, but I know I will.  My heart and my subconcious mind will force me to.  They will force me to remember that exactly 1 year ago, I heard your very last words: "I love you more than life itself."  And too soon after that, I heard your very last heart beat.

I obviously think the year anniversary deserves a blog post, but I couldn't stand the thought of sitting here, saying how difficult it is, and explaining my saddness to nameless viewers.  They've read it all before.  It's hard to explain but venting to them isn't what I really need.  Because it's about you.  It's about losing you, losing a huge part of me, losing the life I thought I'd have.  And as heartwarming as people's sympathies are, they are not what I need.

What I need is your voice, your words.  I want to know what you think, where you are, what you're doing.  I want to sit and talk shit about everyone around us like we always did.  I want you to finish my sentences, agree with me that it sucks that you're not able to be with me anymore, and then I need you to tell me it's going to be ok. I need you to flash me one of those million dollar, twinkly blue-eyed smiles, squeeze my hand, tell me you like my "love" tattoo that I got in your handwriting, and that you'll always be with me.

I miss my best friend.  It's bizarre, but I guess I never really let the finality of it all truly sink in.  I obviously recognize that you died, that we can't be together.  I just thought I'd somehow still be able to talk to you.  It sounds ridiculous, I guess.  But to think that the world will never see your face again or hear your think that I will never be able to hug you... just all seems so final.  Even 365 days later, it makes no sense.  So I'm writing you this letter.  And I do know that you'll find a way to respond... somehow, some way.

Is it vain of me to think you know what's going on in my life? I like to think you watch over me, that you sort of guide me, and probably also critique a lot of my moves. I also partially blame you for pointing me in some wrong directions shortly after you left.  Or maybe just not doing anything other-worldy to intervene.  I know you just were trying to help me feel better.  But where I am now, I love.  And I know you brought me here.  I also know you have a bunch of people to look after, so thanks. :)

Is it weird for me to talk to you about Danny? I know you sent him to me.  You knew he would love me, and more importantly, that I would love him more deeply than I ever imagined I could love someone.  I know you must be sad that you and I didn't get to have the life we wanted, but I imagine you have complete clarity now...that it somehow makes sense to you. There was a time I was so convinced I'd never be happy again, and Danny has changed that entirely.

It's hard to believe a year ago today I was saying goodbye to you.  This year has changed me so much.  I feel like there's so much to tell you.

You know what makes me laugh sometimes? I hear your silly voices in my head.  Or I crack up at a the 1877 Cars-4-KIDS radio commercial.  Bc we both freakin' hated it.  I listen to "Better" and all I can picture is you playing it on your keyboard in your room...and me video taping it...and you getting mad...and making me delete it.  I wish I still had it now.

For the most part, I have a hard time watching videos of the two of us.  It forces my heart to feel too remember what's been lost. I am one big barrell of defense mechanisms.  I can sit here and write about the bad memories and even talk about them, but I have severed the connection that tells me all of this stuff actually happened to me.  The worst part is my brain has a hard time letting me remember good stuff, too.  There's too much emotion, too many memories.  It's like it only allows me to remember so much before my attention span makes me focus on something else.  Yeah, yeah I're a big believer in therapists... but you know how you just get tired sometimes? Tired of making yourself talk and remember?

I started school this week.  It was probably the hardest thing I've had to do in a long time.  Besides my usual nerd-anxiety, it was just hard.  Being there, remembering last year and the last time I ws there, was just really really hard.  I know you wanted me to finish school.  I like to think you're proud of me.

I want you to know I never forget you.  You are on my mind so much, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you.  I think we both were really lucky to have had the time we had together.  That doesn't mean I'm not pissed as hell that your time was cut short.  If anyone could have changed the world, it was you.

When I think of exactly 1 year ago, the main thing I remember about you dying, is that all I kept saying over and over in my head was that I needed to make sure you weren't afraid.  And also asking God, if he was listening in those moments, to please not make it drag out too long.  Because you at least deserved a peaceful exit...and for the selfish reason that I didn't think I could handle much more.  I wish you could tell me I did a good job...that I made you feel safe and loved and as fearless as you could have been in those moments.

I will never truly get over you..  I will always talk about you.  I will always carry you with me.  You will forever be the bravest person I've ever known.  You will always be the person who impacted my life the most.  You will always be with me.  I promise to always make up silly songs.  I promise to never stop laughing at our inside jokes.  I promise to try to use correct grammar.   I promise to try to be the person you saw in me. I promise to try and like the Super Bowl. I promise to love the way you taught me to...intensely... unconditionally...and live the way you showed me...without fear..

I will always love you.

Till the year 4001.