Today my littler sister, Danielle, should have been 20.
20 years since we held her in our arms for the first time, knowing the sad and grim reality that we would never get to bring her home.
20 years of trying to wrap our heads around why someone so little and so innocent didn’t receive a fair chance at life.
20 years of constant wonder about the young woman that Danielle would have become had she been given that fair chance.
20 years of sharing Danielle’s memory with anyone who would ask or be willing enough to listen. While they may not have always known the right words, they were there and offering a hand in support. Support that meant more than they will ever understand.
20 years of not knowing what each November would bring. Some years November is a time full of a mind-numbing sadness. Other years, like this one, November has been brought on by an eerie sense of calm.
20 years that while it may not seem like that long of a time has felt at times like an eternity.
It is true when they say that time may heal the wounds, but the what if’s will always remain.
Today, I feel thankful.
I feel thankful for those few short days that I got to enjoy being a big sister to the most precious and fragile little angel life could offer my family.
I feel thankful for the life lessons that Danielle taught me at such a young age. Life is precious, never guaranteed and very short. Make the most of every moment, never take anything for granted, don’t have regrets and live as though tomorrow is never promised.
Danielle made quite the impact in the short few days she had on earth, leaving quite the solid footprint on many hearts.
We may miss her like crazy, and while we never will have all the answers, I’m most thankful for the time we had and the memories we made.
Danielle, today on your 20th birthday. Wherever you may be celebrating, just know your family is thinking of you, and we hope you’re having one hell of a party!