its about 11pm the night before your birthday as i start to write this. ive been trying to write this for two hours. i think from being best friends in junior high and high school, i  always remember your birthday. july 8. 7-8. and you would have been 27. but. you died exactly four months ago.

i had rehearsal today for church on sunday. we sang songs and i played my guitar loud and after a while, it made me feel a little bit better. but sometimes the words hit too close and id start crying again. it still doesnt seem fair and doesnt make sense. and it makes me feel angry and hopeless all at the same time. and i cry when i talk about it. but writing helps.

i decided to get frozen yogurt with lots and lots of chocolate, and then turn on the AC so I could get into sweat pants, and drink wine and count stars and listen to sad songs and be profoundly miserable. “la despedida” is playing and seems appropriate…“Llévame donde estés, llévame…..Cuando alguien se va, él que se queda sufre más….”

tomorrow i will celebrate your birthday and having known you, but tonight i feel like watching the saddest movie i have until all this is cried out and done. because i still dont understand and i want to so bad. right after you left us, it was hard to think about anything else for a long time…but life winds back up and you get busy…then all of a sudden something reminds me that it was real and you are truly gone. you’re gone and im blown away by how much that affects me. you took a little piece of all our hearts with you.

i looked through all your pictures on facebook….you are laughing and smiling in every single one. fishing, hiking, dressed up, playing edward 40hands, playing the banjo, walking the dog, with a monkey on your head. i read your obituary again and again…you have them posted all over because so many people in many different places are missing you in their lives. oregon, missoula, pleasant hill.

but you know what’s funny? if you google “carly phillips” the first thing that pops up is some author who writes like super cheesy romantic novels! literally, she has a series called “the hot zone” with pictures of guys with no shirts on the cover. haha did you have a career on the side we didn’t know about? i bet that would crack you up to know that. i hope you googled yourself one day and found that. i wish i could have been there to see you laugh and hear you snicker when we read some passages out loud. oh you loved to laugh.

i pray for your parents, grandparents, sister, the eight million people in your family. im praying for everyone who can get up to bend tomorrow to celebrate you. i wish i could be there. writing this is to be as close as i can get. i have a wedding…isnt that crazy that we are at that age? everyone is getting married, having babies, growing up. you would have been a great mom. other kids would have called you “the fun mom.”

Happy Birthday. i miss you i miss you i do. until we meet again.

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.
Eskimo proverb