No longer able to see your face,
how everyone still says we have your smile.
No longer able to hear you laugh
with abundant joy.
I lost you at a young age,
two years old.
You lost your life at a young age,
thirty-two years old.
Only allowed to look at you in pictures:
pictures on the wall in the hallway right next to your two brothers and sister,
pictures in my room, on my wall, and my bookshelf,
where you have one twin on each leg, sitting in your lap,
our brother next to us in a Spider-Man costume.
Pictures in the living room on a small wooden coffee table,
when the whole family went to your sister’s wedding, and you’re wearing a blue dress.
Pictures in my photo album.
Pictures downstairs on the wall behind the drum set.
I don’t remember much.
The few things I do remember will always be with me.
The smell of your car.
The texture of the car seats,
fuzzy and burgundy.
Walking across the street to the ice cream shop,
you pushing one twin in a stroller,
my brother pushing the other twin.
You washing both of us in a tub.
Remembering where we used to live,
a small brick house across from the bay.
What would our relationship be like today?
What household rules would you have?
Would I have been able to meet my dad who left us?
Would I get to meet any of my blood family?
Would you be proud of who I am today?
I wish I had answers.
But I won’t get answers.
I can’t get answers from someone who isn’t alive.
Why did you have to get sick?
Why did you have to leave your two-year-old twins and seven-year-old son?
You were ill.
You had a disease… called Lupus.
You died of a stroke.
Along with you
died your unborn baby.
A boy, our little brother.
The day after Christmas,
The anniversary of your death.
Going to your memorial every year, I spread rose petals
on the snowy ground.
We say things that have happened to us,
things we would want to tell you in person,
as if you were still here.
You left without a choice,
but you’re still watching over us.
You’re still a part of us.
We love you.