Dear Michael,

Regret, it seems, is a very bitter pill. I don’t like living my life now in a way that I’ll have regrets, but since I didn’t always follow that path, I’m still trying to get over, get through, and get on with some elements from the past. There are so many things I wish I could say to you, share with you, and apologize for, and they weigh heavy on my heart every day since you left. So I thought that writing it might help and although I don’t think you’ll be aware of this, hopefully it might help the ones who loved you so much and are left behind to struggle through without you.

I need to apologize for the way I treated your feelings. It wasn’t that I took them lightly, it was that they scared me and confused me and I was nowhere near ready to be able to accept them or return them. Feelings frighten me, even still. I don’t trust them and back then I had no clue what to do with the way you loved me, except build higher walls to try to keep myself safe. We always joked about how prickly I was when it came to the ‘mushy’ stuff, but you loved me in spite of it. Your steady reply was, “I’ll wait.” And you did. I’m thankful for that, even now, because any other action wouldn’t have been right for either of us.

Since you passed I’ve felt so incredibly guilty because it was me who pushed you into going to California, hoping the separation would help us gain clearer perspective. For many months after the accident I believed I had effectively sent you to your death. I’ve always believed that when we are born God appoints the time we are to die, so in my heart I knew it wasn’t my doing, but in my mind I constantly battled the guilt. I know it was part of the grieving process and it’s a responsibility that was never mine, so I’ve laid it down. It was God’s choice to call you Home and I’m so very thankful I know I’ll see you again.

You were such a huge part of my life that it’s been difficult to adjust to not having you around. You were my best friend, my shoulder to cry on, the one who always knew how to make me laugh. You were my greatest fan and I was yours. I miss you every day. I always want to pick up the phone and call you when something wonderful happens. I still write on your Facebook wall when I want you to know what’s going on…or when I miss you so much I can’t breathe.

There have been great changes here, Mikey. I’ve been learning so many good things about life and love and joy. I’m not so very prickly any more. All along I thought I couldn’t ever love anyone because I didn’t know what love was. But guess what? I’ve discovered that I do know what love is…I just didn’t have enough faith in myself to believe it. It turns out that I love greatly and freely and it doesn’t hurt me, as I always believed it would in the past. I can hear you saying, “That’s wonderful, baby! I knew you’d get there…”

Thank you for always being willing to wait for me. In waiting, we both discovered that our destinies were to be found in different directions. I know now that our friendship was always meant to be and that it was a gift because you helped me learn so much in preparation for things to come. I wish you could see my life now and know how much joy I’ve discovered, first in seeking God’s face, and then in loving abundantly and without fear. I wish, too, that you could meet the man who’s helped me to lower the barriers and trust again. Someday you will.

So until I see you again, know that your absence is felt profoundly by so many. I’ll miss you every day that I’m still here, but I’m glad I know where you are and that for you everything is sublime.

And if, by some chance, you really can see what goes on down here, I hope it makes you glad to see MaryElle, Marty, Sara, and me so happy.

Much love, Mikey!

~Me

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