Dear Cousin Roman,
Another year since you left us has gone by. And there is not a day that has gone by where I don't have a conversation with you in my head and heart. But there is something I have been thinking about lately. I remember the last time that we spoke on this earth. It was Christmas and we were at Nana and Tata's house. I remember you had just received a new wrestling video game as a gift and because your hands did not work so well anymore you asked if I could hold it up for you. I held the game up so you could look at the cover and read the back. Then we had a short conversation that I don't really remember. I remember we laughed but I don't remember if I told you Merry Christmas and what still haunts me is that I don't remember if I told you "I love you". I really want to say that I did but I probably didn't. You died on the day before your birthday and that was the year that I sent every single person in our family a birthday card. I had it down to a science. I knew exactly when to send the card so that it would arrive on your birthday. In the card I told you how awesome I thought you were, how cool you were, how proud I was to be your cousin and that I loved you. It arrived on your birthday, just like I intended it to. But you died the day before and you never saw it. If I had just sent it a few days earlier you would have read it and you would have known. I hope that you did know. And that you do know just how proud I am to be your cousin, your family and how much I love you.
Through you leaving us I have learned so many lessons. These days I probably freak all the cousins out when I tell them "I love you". Even sometimes just on a text message. But I have to tell them because they have to know that. And I tell my girls everyday, all day long. You also taught me that our family can get through anything together. I have seen love between all of us like I never thought possible. When you left us our world was crumbling. We couldn't breathe. We couldn't stand. But we held each other up and when one of us fell, someone else picked us up. Sometimes things like this can tear a family apart. You brought us even closer.
Every year I want to say that it has been easier, but it just hasn't. I am coming to realize that it is never going to get easier. I can be in my car, driving home from doing something as boring as grocery shopping and a song will come on that will make time stand still and make me think of and miss you. But this last time it happened I didn't just cry alone. I picked up my phone and I sent a message to your sister. Telling her how much I loved her. You are still teaching me things and helping me be a better person.
You are so amazing.
I love you like crazy and I miss you so much. Tomorrow the family will get together for Easter Sunday and we are all so happy that it lands on your 25th birthday. We will party like rock stars. Because that they way you would have wanted it.
con todo mi carino,
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