E turned 17 on Sunday.
I think you know this.
I hope you know this.
We had a great weekend with her, celebrating with the whole family on Saturday night and as the seven of us last night. Geoff and Kathleen came to the party Saturday and we drank some of Mike's whiskey, talked about you and cried a bit.
She's grown up a lot this year. According to her psychiatrist she's turned a corner with her depression and attachment disorder. We're weaning her off her meds in the next month.
She still can be difficult, prickly and moody. Some of that is being a teenager. Some of that is her personality. Some of that is due to the awful cards she has been dealt.
She worries about her sisters and feels responsible for them. She fights with M incessantly, though, and really doesn't seem to understand how to help her little sister.
She especially worries about MG and KT forgetting you. It breaks my heart. I'm worried about them too and each time we see them I am overwhelmed by the feeling that that are not where they are supposed to be. Not who they are supposed to be. The guilt is suffocating.
She misses you and Mike terribly. I think she's spent the last 3+ years harping on all the things that have changed and what she's lost (her house, neighborhood, swim team, friends) and she's finally settling into her real grief. She needs to be here, in her loss, but I still want to protect her from the pain and any more heartache.
We talk about you all the time. I want you to know that a day, and sometimes hour, doesn't go by that I don't think about you and the accident.
The boys are doing fine. They love the girls and are still adjusting. We all love them and are doing our best to give them a loving, stable family. M and K especially are developing a really sweet bond.
As with most holidays, we went through all the motions and did what we're expected to do. I made E her favorite red velvet cake. We sang and she blew out the candles. C and I caught each other's eye as the song ended with tears swelling. You. Should. Be. Here. As much as this was E's day, it was yours too.
I promise to continue to do my best by the girls. I really do love them. I hope you're proud of them. I hope you're proud of me.
Jeanne, you are forever in my heart. It still hurts so much to think about our life before the accident and what might have been.