You've been gone four years now. So much has changed since then. The world is still a crazy place - war, famine, debt, natural disasters -- you're not missing too much in that sense. But it's not all bad.
Ma has two new hips & two new knees - she's practically bionic. You have two beautiful grandsons. There have been many times when Bean will look at me a certain way and I see you looking out through his eyes. I have no doubt that you're with him.
I think about you so much. There's so much I'd like to talk about if you were here. I know I wasn't always the greatest daughter, but let's face it, you weren't exactly Ward Cleaver either (you've certainly helped to make me the insecure, commitment-phobic cynic that I am today... thanks.)
Mental illness is a terrible thing to live with - you struggled with it throughout your whole life. But somewhere underneath it all was a kind, caring man. Every now and then, we'd catch a glimpse of him in your occasional smile and through your artwork. I'd like to think that he's the one you became when you died - shedding your shroud of darkness like a snake sheds its skin.
I saw your real eyes once - dark, wide and terrified. But they were ALIVE. And they're the eyes I choose to remember. In the end, the bad memories fade and we're left with only the good, warm ones that leave a mark in our hearts. I wish I'd known you better. I wish you could see your family now as I know you would be so very proud. I am proud to be your daughter.
Much love always.