Every year your anniversary sneaks up on me, and every year, I think it will somehow be easier. It never is. The night before your anniversary I invariably think, this was the last time my life would ever be completely okay and untarnished.
Last night we went to see Chris Isaak in concert, and he didn’t play the first song of his I loved, Graduation Day. Maybe just as well, as it always takes me back to that time period after your death, right when you were supposed to graduate college. I can remember so vividly flying out to California and walking for you at your graduation ceremony. They handed me your diploma and I thought, “well, you did it baby, just a little too late.” I remember thinking those Graduation Day lyrics in my mind as I walked to the car in the rain.
Thinking of a time when everything was right.
Thinking of a time with only you and I
Makes me sorry that it had to end that way
Learned my lesson now there’s nothing left to say, graduation day
Your scholarships still go out, and it’s comforting to know that there’s a little bit of your influence still floating around out there. You have three nieces growing up, as kids do. The only one you got to meet was Mackenzie. I wish you could see her now. She’s a strong little lady, and confident, too, a quality that eluded us both as girls. She was just a baby when you died, so as she gets older and older, it’s a reminder of just how long you’ve been gone. You never met Marissa, but she is most like you in personality: sweet, gentle and compassionate. And Ella Bean looks a bit more like you every day. I wish they could have known you.