I’m exhausted, but I’m writing. You’re never going to read this, but I’m writing. Every single year I think of doing this, but I don’t. I think about doing it because I suppose I never healed properly. But I don’t because logically it makes no sense to write a letter to a dead person. Dead. You are dead. You’ve been dead for 20 years and you are not any closer to be undead. I’ve spent 20 years not hearing your voice or hugging you. Yet, I still remember what you smell like. I can still remember your voice. Somehow you live within me…but it’s not good enough. You are still not here.
Where to start? Do I download what’s been happening over the past two decades? Or are we past that now. I realize that you don’t even know me anymore. I don’t even know you anymore. Our relationship is frozen in time. Maybe that’s the part that breaks my heart. We are frozen in time with no chance of thawing. Never again. Never is such a long time. It’s not fair you are gone. There, I said it. Finally, it’s out there. I, like our relationship, am frozen at 15 years old when it comes to my feelings. I’m still so damned mad. You missed everything. I’ve done all of these things and you were not there for one! You even had the audacity to miss the famed red dress I had made for the homecoming dance that year. You couldn’t wait just 5 more days to see it? 5 days and then the dance. The pictures. The talking on the phone. One more conversation. You didn’t answer your phone for four days. You just let it ring, knowing I would never talk to you again. You just let it ring. I just want you to pick up the phone and say, “Hey. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, but I have AIDS and I’ve got pneumonia and I can’t shake it. I’m sorry, but I’m dying.” But you didn’t pick up the phone.
I made a human. You would have loved him and spoiled him. He’s me. But smarter and more stubborn…yes, it is possible, clearly. He’s beautiful and funny. He can be mean like grandpa…which is maybe why I love him so much. You would have been mad for each other. I wish you were here to veto time out I give him. You would have loved him. You should be here with him.
I wish you would have been here when grandpa left. When grandma left. When Little Michael left. You should have been here and I’m sorry you were a generation too late. It makes me jealous of the kids who don’t have to know AIDS like I knew AIDS. I’m happy for them. I’m relieved for them. I am jealous of them. I miss you so much sometimes I feel like my heart will burst. You weren’t suppose to leave me here. I’m so sorry you’re not here. I’m being repetitive. But does it matter? I’m talking to a dead person. I hear you laughing at me. Go ahead and laugh…it’s funny. There isn’t much more to say other than you’ve missed everything and I’m mad about it. That I love you and that I try to find the gratitude in knowing that I had a rad decade and half with you. But really, that wasn’t enough time. I got robbed. You got robbed. Having me for a little one is like winning the freaking lottery! I’m sorry you got robbed. You missed everything. I became a woman and you weren’t here. Your love still warms me and pushes me through. Your short temper, snappy comebacks and empathetic nature swirls within me. You are still here, I suppose. I just wish I could touch your face. 20 years later and all I want to do is touch your face and say, “Hi”.