To Lilly

Are you okay?

How are you feeling?

Did you sleep?

Did you eat?

She’s in a better place.

Her time was up.

She loved you more than anything. 

You were her person.

She needed to see you one more time.

Are you okay?

Seriously, are you okay?

No. I’m not okay. I’ll never be the same because of this. I’ll never experience anything like that, ever again. That was a once-in-a-lifetime bond.

She saved my life. That little girl saved me. How do you replace that? How do you live on without that? Never again will I wake up to her head on my chest, her breathing in sync with mine. Never again will I fall asleep to her cuddled by my stomach, closing her eyes in complete peace — the kind of peace she only felt comfortable showing around me. I can’t have any of it back. The endless circles ran around the basement when she was excited. I won’t ever get to feel her sigh of relief when she finally got to lay on my lap after a long day. I won’t ever get to tell her I love her.

I love you baby girl. Mom loves you with her whole heart.

Worst of all, I don’t have anything to come back to. She was my home. She was everything to me.

Fourteen years … Fourteen years through my childhood, through my teenage years. We grew up together. I know nothing but her. So, for these next few hundred words, I’m going to pretend that she is still alive and can somehow read. Regardless, I know that she’s looking at me right now, reflecting on everything I’m about to say.

Lilly, Dill-Dill, baby girl, best friend, my everything, this is to you:

Hey, baby. Quite the life, huh? You and me. First, let me tell you, I’m going to be okay. I’m going to make it.

Can you believe we met when I was just five-years-old??? Lil, I’m almost twenty. And you, you’re almost fourteen. That’s a long time to be side-by-side – and you and I were always side-by-side. The day we came together, I remember looking at you and just feeling this intense thing. As a child, I couldn’t put a word to that thing; but, it was strong and it was instant. Even though I couldn’t put a word to it, I knew that I never wanted it to go away.

With every day that passed, the feeling seemed to stay. Eventually, I realized you were the only constant thing in my life since that feeling presented itself. That was when I knew that you weren’t just some star birthday gift or some random dog — you were mine, I was yours, and we were everything to each other. The bond that we shared was the best thing, but, at times, it was also the worst. Nobody could come near me, nobody could even come in the same room without you flipping out. You felt like you needed to protect me from even the shadows.

I honestly blame myself for that — you feeling the need to protect me at all costs. You saw me, all of me, from the screaming crying to the panic attacks where I couldn’t breathe. My behaviors reflected back to you. How couldn’t they? You were the only one who saw them to their fullest; you were the only one I would talk to about them. You know more about me than anyone in this world. And, without you, I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this. I’m not too sure I would have been strong enough to make it through those terrible years without you. People in my life hate it when I say that because it’s hard to understand. But, it’s true. And, I shouldn’t have to elaborate any more on that statement.

I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again. You were sent to me for one reason, and one reason only — you came here to save me. Lilly, you did it. You watched as I broke—countless times—and you searched for every piece, slowly putting me back together. You’ve been doing that for fourteen years. All I had to do was look into your eyes and I felt whole again. I felt loved, and cared for, and protected. No one will ever understand our bond. No one will know how special you truly were; you saved that special side of you for me.

I’m not going to tell our stories, share our secrets, or spill our memories. I’m just going to say thank you.

Time for the sad stuff (if you weren’t already crying).

I try to prepare myself for every situation. I’ll come up with scenarios and replay them repeatedly until I’m comfortable with that feeling. That way, when the situation presents itself, I’ll be able to handle it. However, it never crossed my mind that I should prepare to see you … Nothing in this entire world could have prepared me to see your body after you passed. Nothing.

They walked you into that room, wrapped in a blanket, faced away from me. Every other time you’ve walked into a room, the first person you look for is me. Your ears perked up, your eyes shined, and your legs were ready to burst toward me. This time was different. You were there, but you weren’t there. You weren’t moving, you weren’t looking for me. I’m still trying to process that new feeling. For the first time, in fourteen years, I didn’t feel that thing. I saw your body and everything just left me.

My soul left me for a split second to give yours one last kiss and tell you a few things:

Baby, mom is going to be okay. 

I love you with my entire soul.

You saved me. You saved me. You saved me. 

You gave me a love I never asked for. 

You gave me your heart.

You gave me a home.

I didn’t deserve you.

You were everything.

I hope I gave you the love you deserved — the life you deserved. 

Please don’t worry about me. 

Please find peace.

I know you’ll never really leave me. I know.

You truly were the light at the end of every dark tunnel I found myself in. 

You listened when I felt helpless.

I’m going to do all the good things I promised you.

I can now walk this earth knowing I was given the greatest gift in you. 

I hope you live among the stars knowing that I’m going to be okay. 

Mom’s going to be okay, Lilly, and it’s because of you.

I love you more than anything in this universe.

Sleep well, baby girl.

-Kelsi

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