Today is your birthday. I wanted you to know somethings.
First, I am sorry.
I am sorry you made the choice that you did.
I am sorry for the great things you haven’t gotten to be a part of.
I am sorry for the hard times that your family has gone through and needed you…..but you were not there.
I am sorry I was not a better friend and cousin to your children after you left.
I am sorry your grandchildren do not know you.
I am sorry you do not know your grandchildren.
I am sorry that you did not get to see us grow up and get married and have children.
I am sorry that you are not bowling or playing softball anymore.
I am sorry that I will never walk into Grannys house and see you asleep on the couch with your mouth wide open.
I am sorry I will never see you write again (anyone who ever saw you write will understand this).
I am sorry that I lived in denial after you left.
I am sorry that you left.
I am sorry that I have hated you for 12 years.
I am sorry that I put your ornament away and just hung it up for the first time last Christmas.
I am sorry I just visited you last year for the first time since having to watch your children bury you.
I am sorry for the horrible things I have yelled at you over the past 12 years.
I am sorry I was not there for my mom.
I am sorry that I told your son I hated you.
Second, I don’t understand.
I don’t understand why you made the decision to leave.
I don’t understand how you could leave your children.
I don’t understand how you could leave your mom.
I don’t understand how you could leave your brothers and sisters.
I don’t understand how you could leave your nieces and nephews.
I don’t understand how you could leave me.
I don’t understand how to comprehend what had happened.
I don’t understand how someone who was always so happy and a joy to be around could be in such torment on the inside.
I will never understand.
Third, I am mad!
I am mad that you left.
I am mad you left your children.
I am mad you left us all.
I am mad that I had to watch your children pick out your coffin….at such young ages.
I am mad that I had to listen while your obituary was written.
I am mad that you couldn’t have just went to King George to get away.
I am mad that I had to watch the most important people in my life fall apart.
I am mad that I had to watch as things were put in little cylinders of your coffin.
I am mad that I had to watch your son speak at your funeral when he was only in high school.
I am mad because I can’t forget that night and the days following.
I am mad because I still see and hear things like they just happened.
I am mad because nothing could ever make me understand your choice.
I am still mad at you.
I am so sorry.
I will never understand.
I will always be mad, but
Fourth, I do love you.
It has been a long road to get here and I still have a ways to go, but I finally can say whole heartedly that I love you. I have your picture in my living room, I think about you often, I can still hear your laugh, I can still hear you making fun of your brothers, I can still picture you signing your name, I can still see you throwing a bowling ball (because let’s face it you did not exactly roll it), I can still see you on the softball field, I can still picture you asleep on the couch…..I miss you terribly and I love you and I am sorry it has taken me this long to say that.