The first few days you were no longer on this Earth, it was hard to think of you. Once so vibrant and energetic, now reduced to something cold and lifeless. I remember, without knowing it, all of those times we cruised the neighborhood on our bikes, me always behind you, pedaling furiously to catch up. I liked whatever you liked, because you knew best. You could make me laugh like no one else could. I rode shotgun when you got your first car. We feasted on late night snacks, while watching tv into the wee hours. Through the years, looking up to you and the person you were. So fiercely protective of me, and always the life of the party. Giving the best motherly advice, even though we did not have the best role model. People were just attracted to you, the center of attention. You demanded to be seen and heard. You wore your heart on your sleeve.
Yet, there was a sadness and pain, not often seen. You were able to hide that side well. Too tough to show it. Not one to show weakness. It crept in like a shadow, slowly filling you up, until there was nothing but a shell. Your light shined too bright and you burned to ash.
You are in my thoughts everyday. I wonder what you would be doing now 26 years later. Would you be the same person you were before it all came crashing down? Would we still be inseparable, able to talk for hours about nothing at all? Would you be proud of the woman I have become, no longer that little sister, following her idol around like a little puppy. Most days I smile at the memories, but sometimes it is hard to think of you.