8 Years

Dear Ava,

It’s been 8 years since you left us. Eight years and it’s still a struggle every day, but I think I hide it well. I struggled for a long time before I could get to where I could talk about what happened without getting emotional. I am better now, but the missing you part will never go away. I only let myself be sad on this day – a good friend once told me that holding onto sadness keeps you from being happy, and I would never want you to not be happy.

I’ve seen so many butterflies around me lately. I can’t help but think it’s you sending them and letting me know you’re with me. Thank you for that. I couldn’t have asked for a kinder, sweeter, more loving, or more full of life niece than you. Even when you were nearing the end, when you couldn’t walk anymore, when simple things became difficult for you to do, you always saw what was good, and always made the most of what you had. The one and only time you ever told me you loved me was the last day I saw you. I didn’t know at the time how much I needed to hear that, until you said it.  Thank you again.

Every year since you left, I send your mommy and daddy a little message that I am thinking of them. I never know how they cope on this day. I probably don’t want to know. I can’t imagine what they must go though.

My heart is so heavy as I write this. I want so badly to see you again. One day though, but until then, please come visit.

Love you, sweetheart.

See you later, Ava.

 

P.S. I wrote this after you left us. I actually forgot that I wrote it until recently when I came across it.

End of June

Close your eyes, sweetheart,

Do not fear what is to come.

No need to fight it,

No need to fear it,

It is only God calling you Home.

The biggest of hearts will break;

But the memories we carry of you,

The indelible mark left upon our soul,

Will keep us going

To keep on living,

To heal these cracks in our heart.

You need not be afraid to let go,

Heaven awaits you

Where you can be whole again,

And live forever.

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Heaven Can Wait

Dear Ava,

I wrote this for you after you were diagnosed with cancer. I never got to share it with your parents, or anyone in the family really, not even after you left us. The odds were against you, but I was so absolutely sure you would beat it.

 

Heaven Can Wait

Little Star,

Little Soul,

Heaven can wait.

Don’t give in just yet…

Your life has yet to be lived.

Precious smile,

Beautiful soul,

Heaven can wait for you.

Hang in there, Little One,

We’ll be waiting for you

When this nightmare is done.

Don’t stop fighting, Baby Girl,

Heaven can wait.

 

See you later, Ava. ❤️

June 3rd

Dear Ava,

It’s been 8 years already since the last time I saw you. I didn’t know the months leading up to this final day that I would even have a chance to see you again. I got 2 days, and those were the best two days I could have ever asked for.

Thank you for painting my nails, thank you for sharing your ice cream with me, for letting me hold you on my lap, and telling me that you love me with that goofy sweet smile that we all loved.

I have so much more to say to you, but I can’t quite form the words right now. I love you and miss you more than I can even say.

See you later, Ava.

Today…

Dear Ava,

Eleven years ago our lives changed. Today, eleven years ago we found out you had cancer. A year ago today I was in my favourite place in the world – Paris, when it hit me what day it was. I was walking the most beautiful city in the world and I was crying because the realisation of the date, that it had been ten years. You know I that I don’t let myself be sad for you, except for one day a year, but last year I let myself be sad for the significance of that anniversary.

Ava you were so small, so innocent for such a major illness. I know I’ll never know why it had to be you, but I still question God on it. I’m thankful we had you for almost 4 years.

I miss you ungodly amounts, and I love you.

See you later, Ava.

Here we go…

Dear Ava,

Hello, munchkin. Here we go, it’s May, and so it starts. May and June, hardest time of the year for me. I want to fast forward these two months every year. Fast forward to July so we can celebrate your life on your birthday.

You know, whoever said that we eventually get over the death of a loved one had to have been lying. I will never get over it. It’s not something anyone can get over. It’s just a new reality we’ve all had to adapt to. Perhaps missing you gets easier, but not “getting over” you leaving us.

Love you, cutie.

See you later, Ava.

Grandpa

Dear Ava,

Today is 10 years since my grandpa, your great grandpa, left us. You were too little to remember the service, but you were there, yet you were not able to join everyone inside the church for the service since your immune system was getting rebuilt. At that time you were doing well. You were in remission, but still going to the doctors a lot. We were sad to lose gramps, but happy you were well finally.

You and grandpa both got sick at the same time. When you left us, the only solace I had was that he was there to greet you.

Tell him I say hi, and that I love him. I love you, too, like always.

See you later, Ava.

Another Memory

Dear Ava,

I came across another Facebook memory. I wrote that I was packing in case I needed to leave at a moments notice. I lived across the country, and that was the hardest part, not being there for you and your parents when things were bad. And this was the worst of it before you left us. There were so many phone calls with news that you may not make it through the night. I didn’t know if I would see you again, which was the worst feeling I’ve ever had to feel. But, I am happy it didn’t come to that, that I was able to see you twice before you left. Those two days I saw you were the best. They were also my last.

I love you and I miss you ungodly amounts.

See you later, Ava.