Were we not just all together as a family, eating dinner, reminiscing over dad and Justin's trip to Ecuador? Was it not just last week that mom was sick with the horrible flu? Did we not all just snuggle, cozy and warm, you in your green knit hat, together, in the family room, giggling over pictures as dad and Justin told stories about their trip? Seems like we just had that sister's sleepover, where we watched and of course laughed over the auditions for the 2009 American Idol contestants. Didn't you just help mom shovel the driveway as you and her enjoyed a night snowed in together? Hadn't you and dad just reviewed finances and discussed your new job promotion? Wasn't it Justin that you took for a drive in your newly purchased SUV? And didn't you allow Jesse to sleep at the foot of your bed, just the other night, knowing just how much he loved you, even though you knew it drove mom crazy having him upstairs!? How has it been 723 days since I've heard your voice? How can something seem like a life time ago, yet as though it was just the other day.
For those of you that have experienced a great loss of any kind, you know what I am referring to. It is the time that lapses from 'that last' time together. The clock never stops. No matter how much you beg for those digital numbers to freeze, they just will not. Some how those minutes turn to hours, hours to days, days to months, months to years. Years. I have grown to dread that word. Isn't it a human reaction when hearing the words, 'years ago', to naturally assume that time has past, hurts have have healed, memories have faded?
In just 7 days I will face the fact that when referring to my sister's passing, it will no longer be referred to as, 'last year', or 'just a year ago'... It will now be 2 years ago... that dreaded word has entered my vocabulary when referring to my beloved sister... years, yuck. Those other phrases brought comfort when referring to my sister's passing. Why? In a weird sense they made her memory seem closer even though time propelled forward. They allowed the public eye to perceive the same thing. Naturally, people respond differently to a tragic loss when it is referred to as 'just a year ago' versus 'years ago'. Human nature can often wrongly assume that one has returned to normal after a few years go by following a great loss.
Well, my family and I have felt everything but normal since that day. Despite my strong dislike for the word, years, I realize that my sister's memory is just as real and close as it was the day after she passed. No time can take away love. As my family and I prepare to enter into our 3rd year of life without our Katelynn we do not view it any differently then that first week without her. Our hearts still ache, the memories still seem as though they were yesterday, her voice still rings in our ears... and our hope is ever more strong.
As my dad said to us last week, he is thankful for the past two years, because we are that much closer to seeing Katelynn's face and being united again.