It’s been 21 days. In some moments, these past 21 days feel like the longest of my life. In others, it seems they’ve flown by.  21 days of unexpected grief. Unexpected tears. Unexpected loss.

When I got the phone call that you were in the hospital, I responded with a panicked “why?” and held my breath. I calmed down as my mom explained that you had fallen but were going to be okay. My response was “okay, good. Because I have decided that 2018 is going to be the year no one dies. It will be the year I don’t lose anyone.”

Less than 24 hours later, I got the news. After a multitude of missed calls and texts from my dad between the hours of 6 and 7 in the morning, I got a text that said “call me when you get a minute before class.” Well, I don’t have classes until 11, so I had plenty of time. Or so I thought. He called me again and, in my half-awake state, I answered. All I heard was “I just wanted to let you know, Mimi passed away this morning”

In all honesty, I don’t remember much of the rest of our conversation. It was like I was underwater trying to make sense of the world above water.

At first, I didn’t believe it. I still don’t want to believe it. When I talked to my mom all I could figure out to say was “its too soon.”

And it is. Its too soon for me to accept the fact that you and Pawpaw are both gone. Too soon for me truly see that this is what you wanted and that you were more than ready. Too soon to think about next Christmas Eve – the first one I will spend without you.

Since I was 12, you’ve been telling me every time we say goodbye that “this could be the last time” and that I need to be a good girl and make you proud. Over the years, I learned to brush off that final comment. I took advantage of the fact that, no matter how much you said that, I did, in fact, always see you again.

I can’t help but think that I should have called you. I should have called over and over again until you answered. Even if I thought I didn’t have anything of value to say.

I wish I told you more often how much you mean to me. I wish I hugged you more. I wish I had the chance to tell you I love you just one more time.

I hope I’m making you proud. I hope you know how much I love you. And I hope you know I miss you more than words can say. I love you, Mimi. Forever and always.

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