This is the day. It’s hard to believe we’re at the year mark. Sometimes it feels like you were never here, like it was a wonderful dream and now I’m awake remembering a 21 year dream, but at other times, it feels like you’re not really gone but in the next room. I don’t look at the door much anymore, so somehow I’ve accepted that you aren’t coming though it. I still worry about you. Not because there’s anything to worry about, but because I can’t stop being your mom and worrying about you is a part of that.

I have a wall of pictures with you and your sister at various ages. I spend a lot of time looking at them and remembering. You two were so different, except for humor. She was the first born, a high achiever, bossy and she behaved like your other mother. You spent lots of time in Hannah’s shadow but as you did, you learned to shine in your own way. You became my buddy, my artist, my athlete, my dog-lover, my cooking buddy. Sometimes I feel bad because I had so much more time with you than I did Hannah. She was so independent that it’s still hard for me to pin her down, and get her to spend time with me. I miss this about you. You always came through the door and the first thing you would do is find me. Every single time. I LOVED that about you. You made me feel important and I never questioned your love for me. I imagine the next time, It’ll be me coming through the door and the first thing I will do is find you. I will see you, smell you and hug you again. I think of it every day and I can’t see that changing until we meet again.

Today, several people sent messages to you, written on helium balloons. Messages of gratitude and messages of love. There’s something healing about letting them go and watching them until they are out of sight. I know you get every message.

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