Yesterday was your birthday, but to me you will never age. Your image will remain the same in my memory as you were 12 years ago when you left us.
It is indeed difficult to believe that it has been more than a decade since you took your eternal rest. Despite that, we have never forgotten you— most especially me. Each day you are always with me, in my mind and in my heart.
There are days that I would cry myself because I miss you badly. I have not told anyone but I have not gotten over the pain of your departure. Whenever I think of you, I felt I was cheated by fate. You left a void in my life, an empty part that echoes its longing for you.
I miss your presence; the sound of your overtly-excited-high-pitched-voice that used to spread happiness among the people around you. I miss your sweet and pretty face with those almond eyes that resemble mine as well as my papa. I miss your unwavering energy from the break of day until the sun sets. I miss the way you spoil me with illegal goodies you bring every afternoon— the chocolates, candies, chips, and other junk foods prohibited at home.
I remember how you would sneak and kidnap me whenever my parents are at work and I was left with the house helper. I remember how you would put the whole household in panic when we set out our plans for escape when I was not allowed to go out. I remember how you would throw me in the water in pools and at the beach just to teach me how to swim. I remember how you would bring me in your friends’ as well as your office outings.
Aunt Majean, I would never forget you. I would never forget that every morning you would vocalize in the shower and sing “Mickey Mouse March” from the Disney Classics. I would never forget that your place on the dinner table was on the left of grandma. I would never forget that it was so easy for you to earn a three-digit score in one turn in scrabble. I would never forget that you were the only one among the family members who crunch numbers like it was just Snickers. I would never forget that taco was something we bond over with every single day. I would never forget that you allowed me to have a few cans of Cali (although now I realized it’s non-alcoholic) and got me drunk when I was about five. I would never forget that you are the reason why I am always out and about until now.
You are the only person I knew of who took cats seriously; you would pick up every single kitty we passed on along the streets. It is true that most of the time the cats were the source of yours and Uncle Glenn’s (your brother) misunderstandings. He would secretly throw away the cats you had brought in the house, because let’s face it— they trigger yours and everybody’s asthma. Despite that, no one can stop you from sheltering more stray cats.
You are known in every corner of town and unofficially earned the title of Ms. Congeniality. We were surprised how popular you were. The amount of friends you gained and the number of people you touched while you were still living was very evident on the day of your wake and the time of your burial. Everyone in the family was surprised at how you were able to fill an entire Church. There were so many strangers, people whom you and you alone knew.
I believe that you were happy surrounded by friends on that day before we laid you down on your final resting place. It was obvious on people’s faces how they were hoping that you would rise from your casket, take over the microphone, and start singing one of the Air Supply songs. I was wishing the same, but it never happened.
Everyone will agree with me that you were taken from us too soon. Like the rest, I was not ready to lose you. At 10 years old I was not prepared to welcome your death and until now I have not learned how to let go of you.
There are so many what-ifs running in my head. In that short while given to us, I am fortunate that you had played an important role in my formative years. You taught me that there is nothing wrong to sweat, to be dirty, and to be surrounded by guy friends. You showed me that it is not a shame to lose and that it is better to satisfy one’s curiosity than to settle and memorize facts.
Thank you for exhibiting what the true meaning of sharing is— that it is not about the material things but more importantly on the giving of one self and one’s being to others. Thank you for sharing yourself to me the most— for considering me your bestfriend and for helping me understand what it is like to be one.
You are so far from me now but you will always remain my bestfriend. Thank you for being my angel in heaven and for gifting me another person I can turn to in the form of Kristin.
I miss you and I would never cease to love you.
Hugs and kisses from earth,
Your favorite niece.