Dear Tanya, (August 22, 2017)

Dearest Tanya,

It’s been FOREVER since I last wrote to you.  Can you believe it’s almost a year since you gained your Heavenly body?  Okay, I don’t know if you actually have a body but I think you know what I’m talking about.  At least I hope you do.

I’m typing this on your laptop.  Actually I think it was Mom’s but whatever.  Hubby finally found a cord that would work with this laptop.  We sent it over to Dave to figure out the password.  You put a hint for the password but we still could not figure it out.  Dave finally fixed it and then upgraded the laptop.  Mom gave it to me because she knew Hubby and I will sometimes fight for the computer.  She wanted me to have something that was mine.

I’m heading to Pittsburgh Labor Day Weekend to celebrate your 40th birthday.  I know you probably rolled your eyes when I went on the Disney Cruise on my 40th.  Well, I wanted to go somewhere to celebrate your birthday.  After much thought, I decided Pittsburgh would be a good idea because we traveled there several times.  Many memories were created there.  Like me pretending like I was going to jump off the overlook after Grandma B.’s funeral or listening to Grandma B. complaining about the fact people were not at church while we were at the Pancake House.  I plan to visit Phipps Conservatory on your birthday.  Do you remember going there in 2004 with Nick?  Instead of Grandma riding in the wheelchair, I thought it would be funny for me to ride in the wheelchair.

I miss you so much!  Thank you for sending the Monarch butterflies to show me that you are still watching over me.  Please continue to watch over me.

Give our loved ones in Heaven a hug from me.  Tell them I love them.

Your annoying sister,
Traci

Dear Tanya (9/13/16)

Dearest Tanya,

Since I can’t call you, I’ve decided to write you another letter.

Did you see the Celebration we held for you?  So many of our Rainbow friends came to remember you.  Did you see that Amy got us a cake with the picture of you and I on it?  Family came to the Celebration even our family from Pittsburgh.  Mr. and Rev. B.even came.  Jamie decided Mr. B. looks like the E Harmony man.  Too funny!

Did you hear us singing to you and see the purple balloons we released in your memory?  Doug came from Nashville for the Celebration.  He decided that he was going to release his balloon first.  You probably got a big laugh about it from Heaven.  Todd decided he was going to take the string off first and then release his balloon.  He ended up releasing his balloon last.

Cindy from church gave a beautiful frame that says sisters on it.  I’ve placed it on my desk at work.  My students have said we looked like twins.  Can you believe that?  Do you remember the year mom had us get the same haircut.  Then for picture day she dressed you and I up in green turtlenecks.  We really looked like twins.

Today I’m extra sad.  Do you remember my student who drowned back in 2009?  It would have been his 26th birthday today.  His mom reached out to me when she heard the news that you had gone on to Heaven.  I got to talk to the mother of another young man who was touched by the news.  Anthony is still broken up about Renier’s death just like me.  It’s been 7 years but I am still heartbroken over the news.

On Saturday after the rain, Todd and I decided we were going to chase the sunset.  We got up to the Huffman Interpretive Center 10 minutes prior to it closing.  I captured a gorgeous shot of the sunset.  However what was more impressive was the small little rainbow to the west.  Was that you letting me know that you are okay?  Please tell me that it was you.

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I miss you so much!  I miss being able to call you so I could annoy you with stupid details of my life.  I miss asking you to go on adventures with us.

Until next time!

Your annoying big sister,

Traci

P.S. I still think Jon Knight is the best New Kid on the Block.  Yes, I know he’s gay but when we were still teens he had not come out of the closet.

Whenever I hear “Step by Step,” I’ll think of you.