Happy 34th birthday, Ed

Ed's 34th birthday cake

Happy birthday, Ed! Today, you turn 34, yet every time I look at you in all your photos for the last eight years, you’ve never seemed to age. And now, you are ageless to me. You will always get older and wiser, but your face will remain beautifully youthful and wrinkle-free.

Life isn’t the same without you, Ed. Each day, as I think I am moving on with my life, something triggers pain in me that reminds me that you are not awakening each morning the way I do or breathing air like the rest of us. This sounds gross, but even when I put on my retainer before bed each night, I think of you because you were always so good about wearing yours, too. I still have a hard time believing I will never speak with you again or feel your embrace. It hurts so much when I think of all the suffering you went through. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t do enough to take it all away. I feel like in many ways, I failed you.

You came to me again in another dream two nights ago, Ed. In it, I came home to San Francisco, and I saw you standing in the kitchen. I immediately ran up to you and threw my arms around you and squeezed you until you started coughing. For a few seconds, you were okay with it, and then after that in your awkward way, you tried to get rid of me by squirming, and saying, “Yvonne! What are you doing?! Let go!”

I don’t want to let go of you, Ed. I’m madly infuriated at the world for how unfair everything and everyone has been to you. I’m even angry with myself because I couldn’t help you more. I wish I could have made all the wrong things right for you. I’m so sorry. I miss you. I miss my amazing brother, the best brother I could have possibly had. You will be my inspiration to be stronger for the rest of my life. You will always be inside of me. Please know that.

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