Dear Andrew (2)

Dear Andrew,

I miss you.

The more the years pass, the more I wish I could have gotten to know you more, and the more I wish you could have seen the rest of us grow up. I think about you a lot, but there are always triggers. Just the other day, John's wife had her second and third child, twin boys. John and Anne are about the same age as you would have been, and theirs is a family of five now. Every time I see them, I think of what life would have been like if you hadn't died. You and Andrea would have had kids, I would have more cousins.

The most recent trigger was when dad and I found that old photo album from around when I was born. There's a picture in it of you holding me as a newborn, and you're wearing a John Abbott College hoodie in the school colours, blue and gold. That just really got to me, I almost cried right there. Why? Because now I go to John Abbott College, and I have a blue and gold sweater as well. I never knew you went to John Abbott, when I last saw you I don't think I even knew what college was. That's what makes me think that I really didn't know very much about you at all. I knew you only as much as a 9 year old can love her cool 30 year old uncle, but I never got to know you as a person. I know you played guitar, but do you know that now I play, too? Did you know that your nephew Spencer is 11 now, and a AAA level hockey player? For Christ sakes, he was only two years old when you died.

At the time, we (the kids) seemed old enough, but when I look back at photos from the year you died, it's such a shame because really we were all so young. I thank God that as the oldest, I got to know you the best, because the others were only aged 2-7, I don't even think they completely understood what dying WAS, and by the time they did, it was too late!

On November 25th, it's going to be nine years since you died. When I think of all the stuff you missed, I feel so sad and angry at the same time. I'm sad for the family you and Andrea never had, but mostly I'm sad that you don't get to see your five nieces and nephews grow up. Devon's already 13, and he's already as tall as you were! can you imagine that??!

I try my best to keep my memories of you from before you got sick, you confided to me before you died that you didn't want me to remember you as "Chemo Andrew", all pale and bald, and I do try. I'm just sorry, because I think of all the kids, I'm the only one who still has clear memories from that far back.

I'm very thankful that for that month you lived at Grandma's house, after you were terminal, I spent all my time in the bedroom with you and Andrea. I know the other kids didn't really understand, which is why they watched cartoons. They were only little. But even though I sometimes wanted to go in and watch Ducktales, something told me I should still sit and chat with you in your room. And I'm glad I did.

I miss you, we all do. I hope you get this, somehow.



Andrew Schell 1969-2001
Posted on November 16th, 2010 at 07:10pm


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