A letter to my sister

Haley Havelock, Feature Editor

An Open Letter to My Sister on Her 13th Birthday,

Dad didn’t leave the flowers he always gets for his girls on the counter. Flowers lay on your grave instead.

I still remember the way that you used to hold onto my hand. Your fingers wrapped around my fingers. We were both so young, we were both so innocent.

Things have changed now.

I am not so young, I am not oblivious to the world.

At 13 years old, you’re supposed to be oblivious to the dangers of the world.

At 13 years old, you are excited to finally be a teenager.

At 13 years old, things are awkward. Sometimes kids are mean and you probably go through a weird emo phase.

13 years old is not supposed to hurt. Your 13th birthday hurts.

105,120 Hours

6,307,200 Minutes

378,432,000 Seconds

That’s how long its been since the day you were born.

Unlike most sisters, we have never fought over anything. You never have stolen my clothes, you never have barged into my room, you never have gotten on my nerves. However, I am angry.

Because every hour, every minute and every second that goes by, is time passing by — without you.

You rest in peace, and I am left in pieces. Mom still finds it hard to go to sleep; Dad still gets upset. Bradley never even got to meet you. Grammy has a picture of you in her dining room. Nana has a wall in her house for every grandchild, but yours does not have many pictures. There is supposed to be 13 years worth of pictures, but there’s not.

My mind can never rest now that you’re gone. How can I rest? I am tired of feeling like every single person in my life is walking on glass and when it breaks they will be gone.

For 13 years now we have released balloons into the sky, but we shouldn’t have to do that. They should be here. You should be here. But instead, the only thing your birthday brings is the reminder that every family photo we have is a lie. You are not in them, and our smiles would be a lot more real if you were here.

Your birthday is the day after Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is for love, not for being heartbroken. My very first heartbreak was when I was five. No little girl should have to be wondering what she did wrong, why her sister is not here and why her mom is so very sad.

When you were in the hospital, I knew that something was wrong. I was angry at how everyone tried to lie to me, to make it seem like everything was okay.

They were trying their best. No one knows what to do in that situation. I still don’t know what to do. You were only three months old when you died. I didn’t know you, I didn’t know any aspect of who you would become. I don’t know your favorite songs, I don’t know your favorite foods.

I guess that’s why it’s hard to mourn. I am mourning over a stranger.

Not only am I mourning over a sibling, I am mourning over what could have been.

You were born with one lung. I often wonder how hard it must have been to breathe. I wondered how hard it was to continue breathing. Sometimes it’s hard for me to breathe. I still breathe, for you.

Whenever U2s “Beautiful Day” comes on, we sing it — for you. You used to love that song when you were in the NICU. I still have your stuffed animals. I still have your butterfly. I still have the memory of you.

I hope you know that 13 years later, I still think about you every day. I still look for aspects of you in places. I look for you in rainbows, in the art I create and everything in the world that makes me feel something.

So, on your 13th birthday I want you to know that you are not forgotten.

Happy Birthday Eva G.