You've been dead for many years. Do you know? What's it like in heaven, away from all those you loved? What's it like to be ripped out of your life and asked to go to heaven? Were you scared when you laid down on the floor in the kitchen, did you know you were breathing your last breaths?
I miss you, it feels like more now than ever before. I think it's Patrick, he's here and he's so special to me and I reflect on you and us kids. I think how much love you must have had in your heart for all of us. I know now how much a heart can be filled with love for a child, my flesh and blood. I wonder what it would be like to lose Patrick as you lost your son.
I've seen you in Patrick lately, he has your round face, the eyes and maybe some red in his hair. I think of you almost every time I look at him, I think of how you would have enjoyed your grand kids. Grandpa Roger.
I wish I could talk to you once more, tell you all this and more. I wish you could see us all grown and living. Alive, all of us so alive.
It's been almost 16 years since you died. That feels like a lifetime. My throat still closes and tears stream down my cheeks when I recall memories. Some have faded. But I want you to know you are not forgotten and you are still loved by your girls.
I'll see you in heaven, someday. You're waiting, I know. It may be a long wait, I'm hoping you don't have a good sense of time there. Maybe you can check in with us occasionally and see what we're doing. Who knows, who really knows what is the afterlife.
These all feel like juvenile requests, things I longed for when you first died. Feelings that repeat for every major and minor life event. The grief is changed now, it's not raw, I don't look for you to walk into a room, don't visit the bakery and hope you're by the oven checking the bread. I know you're gone, that is very clear. I just wish I could know if you're around still.
I tell Patrick who you are, tell him stories of growing up making donuts and working in the bakery. I will tell him who you were and what you meant to me, that is a promise.
Love, your daughter.