8 years.

To my dearest Ed,

It’s been eight years since you departed this life. This is the first year that, in the weeks leading up to your death anniversary, I did not feel a great anticipation of seeing you again. Every year up until this year, I’ve always gotten a sense that I would “see” you again, whether that was through my dreams or through some sign you’d send down to earth, letting me know that you were still out there watching over me. This year, I did not feel anything. Maybe it’s my subconscious’s way of expressing that I’ve finally and fully accepted that you truly are gone. Granted, I’ve never been in denial that you were gone. It’s more that I always got the feeling that your spirit was still nearby, especially while I’d be at home in San Francisco.

A lot has happened in the last year. My relationship with our parents is further strained. This country is even more torn apart than it already was. People are somehow still dying from COVID-19 because they don’t believe in science and refuse to get vaccinated. I went through IVF and finally got pregnant (lucky you, you will never be acquainted with the total hell and roller coaster that process is).

I’m still pregnant; every day I wake up, and every night I go to sleep at night, marveling at the fact that I got pregnant and am continuing to be pregnant. I can’t believe how lucky I am. Each night, I give thanks for what I have and what my body is carrying and nourishing. When I found out I was originally pregnant with twins, I got so excited. One of my first thoughts was of you and what your reaction would have been like. I imagined your face breaking out into a huge grin, marveling over the idea that you’d be an uncle to identical twin girls, in shock at the idea that this was actually real. I teared up thinking about the fact that you will never get to react. You always liked babies, and you especially liked little girls. I just thought it was another sign that it was meant to be. And when one of those twins’ hearts stopped beating, I was just shattered. I wondered if embryo baby angels go to heaven, and if they do go to heaven, do they get to meet people like you, who actually lived a real life on earth and have since departed? Do you know where the embryo baby angels go?

I always knew you’d be a great uncle, the kind of uncle who would always want to spend time with nieces and nephews, the one who would spoil them rotten with all the gifts they wanted, even if it was against my own wishes. It really breaks my heart that you will never meet this baby, this little human I am growing. You will never get to hold her, feed her, kiss her, spoil her. I will never know what it’s like to have my child meet her mama’s brother and have a relationship with him. The world robbed you of so much, and by default, it’s robbed me and my future child of so much, as well.

As this pregnancy has progressed, I’ve reflected a lot on our shared childhood and involuntarily had a lot of flashbacks of awful situations that happened between us and our parents. As we all know, no parent is perfect, but I am especially and painfully cognizant of the effect that they had on you. I want to take the good that they did and emulate it, but I especially want to take the bad that they did and learn to never repeat the same mistakes of the past. I don’t want to continue the cycle of dysfunction and tyranny. I want your little niece to feel supported and unconditionally loved. I think at the core, that’s what every parent wants; whether that is actually the result is a completely different story.

I hope you will look down on me and help give me the strength I need to be the best mama I can be. I will make sure to tell your little niece all about the great uncle she will never meet. You will still be a part of her life, even if you aren’t here on earth with us. Every day, I wonder if you are watching over us, giving us your blessings to continue with this pregnancy and ensure the baby is happy and healthy. I hope you are with whatever abilities you have; I need all the help and good vibes I can get — seriously.

I miss you. Every day, I think about you and miss you. I wish you could still be with us in a happier and healthier state than you were last in when you were here. The world still goes on, though, even when great individuals like you leave us. But I will never forget you. How could I possibly forget you? It still makes my heart ache thinking about all the sibling bonds that are out there, and how we no longer have one here in this world to actively continue. But I still feel you — just in a different way. I love you, Ed. I hope to see you again in my dreams soon since it’s been quite some time. So, when are you going to come again?

Love,

Yvonne

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