"Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age, the child is grown and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies."
I don't measure the years its been since I first heard the news.
I don't measure the tears shed since the warm fall day we gathered on a hill, all hot tears, brave eyes, shaking limbs, lonely voices, to say goodbye.
I cannot express the joy you filled me with, every day I knew you.
The miles that stretch from the girl I was to the woman I'm becoming, I do not trace: they are not my miles, for I tread each step for us both.
I do not carry the lessons you taught in my heart: they are not burdens to be carried but actions to be continued. Patience. Kindness. Love. I try to live them, to send the ripples of your generous heart out into the world, until they build into a wave.
To believe you were taken too soon feels selfish, juvenile. After all, who would have extended your pain? Who would deny you peace? You did not get to celebrate the same anniversaries, milestones, firsts, that most little girls do. But in your few years, you still Lived more, Loved more, Taught and Laughed more than most do in 70.
There are no words for the sweetness of your memory, the bitterness of our loss. You're my belief in Heaven, little girl. I know you do not Rest In Peace, for rest is of the weary! You're not weary or in pain anymore but finally refreshed. And so what use have you of rest? No no, surely you dance in Heaven. You run and you laugh, you twirl your skirts and you spin, your long red hair in clouds around you. I know you ride Pegasus out to the furthest stars, to gather their rays for us who miss you here. And oh, we miss you here. Oh, how we miss you.
So on the next sunny day I will find a quiet place, where the sun can touch my face and I will sing your song, the same as we did on the day we said goodbye. I know you will hear it, and remember me, as I remember you.
Always. My Amazing Gracie.