It's been 16 years since the day you died. I remember that day so clearly - running around the school at lunch time, feeling like it was the longest lunch break of all time, and then someone told me mum was at the office with Tom looking for me. I rushed over there and they said you were in hospital and we had to leave right now. That moment is so clear in my mind, but what happened after has always been a bit of a blur and I've had to fill in the gaps. I don't remember if I actually did hold your hand and say goodbye, or if I made it up in my head. I really wish I could remember.
When everything came crashing down 16 years ago today, I thought I would never be happy again. I was confused, devastated, and completely at a loss about how I was going to continue on. You were gone, so I wanted to be too - I just wanted to be wherever you were. I contemplated doing something drastic to end the misery so I could be reunited with you again, but you helped me stay here and get through each and every day, as monotonous and miserable as they were.
I want to say thank you. Thank you so much for my childhood and the family I was blessed with. You and mum together created the most perfect childhood I could've ever imagined. It was filled with activities, love, and innocence. I felt safe and protected at all times and was truly happy. I also want to thank you for the angels I saw on the day of your funeral, and for the ones wearing party hats I saw on my birthday the following year. Thank you for the financial security you gifted us when you passed. I know you would never have made us struggle in that department, and we never had to worry about that aspect of survival. Thank you for watching over us every single day from where you are now. Thank you for your genetics - although I am not overly happy with my body, we've never had any major health issues yet (touch wood). Thank you for the strength of mind and intelligence you have passed onto me. Thank you for never limiting me because I was a girl. Thank you for understanding me. You were truly my best friend. I never really had anybody else when I was younger - I never connected with anyone else or felt understood like the way you got me.
Mum told me a few months ago about how one Father's Day she was struggling to pick out a present for her dad, and you said that you wish you had that problem. I now experience the same thing, and I am positive one of your fears was your children growing up without their father, like you did. Luckily you and I both have incredibly strong mothers who were capable of raising wonderful children all on their own, but it definitely wasn't easy for any of us.
Back in January a psychic told me that I would meet a man who would become my husband, who has a three-year-old daughter who lost her mother due to cancer. At first I thought I didn't want that to be my future, but now I really do. If that situation became my reality, I would understand and all three of us would have experienced the same thing, but from a different point of view. I never wanted to be a stepparent. I thought that was the worst thing you can be - stepping into an already broken, torn apart family and trying to fit in. But I truly feel that situation would be something where I could mend it, as well as bring love and understanding to a delicate family dynamic, which is something I never had once you were gone.
Sometimes it hurts like it was yesterday, and other times it does feel like you've been gone a long time. At my age now - 24 - you were only around for one-third of my life, but you had an impact that will last a lifetime. It's so strange to think you would be 53 now. You are forever immortalised in our minds at 38, or maybe even younger as I mostly think of who you were and what you looked like before the accident. Everything about that accident was fate and I know that. Fate can be cruel, but I know it exists to teach us lessons. The lessons I have learned and will continue to learn for the rest of my life are all about love and loss. It's hard to be graceful when we react to death, but I try to be graceful now. I've realised that keeping your memory alive through my anger about your death was the wrong way to live, and that if I just realised that you body may have died, but your spirit didn't, that everything would be better. You are still very much alive in our hearts, in our minds, and on the other side.
I don't need to ask you if you're proud of me, or if you're ever around, or if you're okay, because I know that you are. You are now free of the body you had for the last year of your life which is an absolute blessing. I have no doubts that you would have stayed if you never had the accident - you would've never chosen to leave us. I wish I could hear what you try to communicate to me, because I get frustrated. Sometimes I can feel you, or sense you, or I'm talking to you and I just wish I could hear what you're saying in return. But I don't doubt that you are listening and talking back.
I will love you forever, and miss you until the day we are reunited, which I hope is in about 64 years time. ♥
P.S. I'm sorry for how scrambled this letter was. It would have been 10,000 words if it wasn't scrambled.