Goodbye and Graduation

Well, it’s graduation time. We did it, yay, and all that jazz. Here’s the thing though, the school wants us to turn in a letter at graduation and they are giving them to Austins family, since it’s been 5 years since his death. His birthday is next week, actually. His death date is the following week. It’s going to be a tough two weeks.. I’m going to have to visit his grave, and I’m going to cry. What can I do? I’m nervous about this letter, so I’m going to turn this into my rough draft.

Dear Matt, Brenda, Hannah, Ian, and Austin,

First, I have to say congratulations on adopting Ian. He looks so sweet and I’m sorry I’ve yet to see him. Actually, I’m sorry for not seeing you guys in a long time. I’ve pretty much disappeared from everyone in the last two years. He’s getting so big and he has a very cute smile. I see the way he looks excitedly at all the animals in your guys pictures and I can’t help but smile.  It looks like you guys have had great vacations and I’m glad you all look so happy.
Matt and Brenda, thank you for taking me into your family and helping me through that difficult time. I hope I helped you guys as much as you helped me. I know graduation is going to be hard, but know he is in each one of us as we walk down that Isle. He isn’t walking down that Isle to graduate just once, but over 150 times. Austin shaped our lives and taught us what it meant to be friends and how to love. 14 years wasn’t enough, but in that time, he affected more people than some do in a lifetime.
It’s strange how quickly time passes. I remember that week like I’m sure all three of you do. Through love and support, we still face that long week every day of the year. I know it doesn’t get any easier, but I want you all to know that I’m here for all of you whenever you need me. We became family that year and we always will be.
Hannah, thank you for allowing me to hang out with your family that year. I can never tell you how much I appreciated it. I hope college is going well and keep making Ian smile! Show him every animal, every word, every possibility out there. You’ve been a great sister to two amazing boys and I know they both love you so much.
Ian, boy you’re cute! You’re getting so big too! I saw on Facebook where you were petting a lamb with your big sister. That was pretty cool, huh? I don’t know how much you know about your brother, but we were good friends when we were little. It looks like you’re a animal lover like him! Anyway, I hope to meet you one day, okay? Keep helping your Mommy at work! You’ll be in school before you know it!
Austin, Bailey and I have been together for two years now. Remember him? We’ve gone to college the last two years and sort of lost contact with everyone. I miss you and I know everyone else does too. When they told everyone that we could write letters to you and your family for graduation, everyone cried, even the principle. I know you won’t miss graduation. You’ll be watching the whole time, huh? Thanks for being there for me those two years of middle school and thanks for being there for me the last 4, too. My favorite memories was of us in math and how we’d write those little notes. We were so young back then and all our memories make us laugh. ♡ Happy birthday, Austin. I love you and thank you for helping me everyday and I want you to know you are graduating at the end of May. You helped us all complete high school.
Again, I just want to thank all of you. I love you guys so much.

Sincerely,
Gabby

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