Today has been 14 years. 14 years. It seems like so long ago, and yet sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. You have been weighing on my mind quite a bit lately, and the pain of missing you has been occurring more than I thought possible after all these years.
You introduced me to Limp Biskit and Casting Crowns. You made me fall in love with the Bachelorette. You taught me how to make my first ever recipe. You taught me that driving with the windows down and the music blaring loud was the best thing ever. You taught me Aussie hair products were the best. You taught me how to French braid my hair. You taught me Diet Mt. Dew was life. You taught me that it was okay to be me. To be silly, happy, and loved. You taught me that it was ok to let go a little .. to embrace your wild side every once in a while. Even if my wild side was only to dance crazy and nothing else.
You were more than a step mom. You became my best friend. You were the person I told my secrets to. You were the person I looked to for help and guidance in my crazy teenage years. You taught me unconditional love. You didn’t have to love me. I wasn’t yours. But you did. Whole heartedly.
I remember you held me when I was sick, and you’d just crawl up next to me in bed not saying anything at all when I needed you most. I felt like such a baby, but I remember you rubbing my belly when I had the worst cramps ever. (Aw the joys of teenage womanhood). Because of you constantly doing that for me I even had to tell my husband about it .. and he would do that for me just like you used to. Now it’s quite sweet because he does it without me asking or explaining.
Your girls became my sisters. They’d crawl in bed with me in the middle of the night because of a bad dream or an accident. I helped get them ready for school and dropped them off. We had crazy dance parties and silly games we’d play. We jammed to Blessed Be the Name of the Lord so many times in the car I lost count. It took me a long time not to look in my rear-view mirror and expect to see those little girls in my backseat. Not only did I lose my step mom and best friend, I lost my sisters, my family. My whole world was turned upside down again the day you died. I lost a part of me that day.
I’ve thought of you several times since then. Graduation, getting engaged, my wedding … I remember having a ‘talk’ with you about girl names when we found out we were pregnant. When I turned 26 that was a hard year for me. I remember thinking of you constantly. The age when you died .. so young with so much more life to experience.
No matter how much time goes by I will always remember you and have a piece of you with me. I may forget some things as time continues to pass, but there are things I’ll always hold on to … your laugh, your crazy obsessions with Diet Mountain Dew and Aussie hair products, and most importantly your love. Because of you I will always know what unconditional love is. I’m so very thankful and blessed to have had you in my life. Even if it was only for a short period of time.