On this date 31 years ago, I became an aunt. I was only 10 years old. After yearning for a younger sibling, this was the next best thing!
Fast forward 17 years. I had moved to sunny California and my nephew Jack would spend his spring and summer breaks visiting, with a friend or two tagging along. He was a burst of energy into our lives; I remember feeling so sad when it was time for them to go home. And the house felt empty afterwards.
Jack was adventurous and was always up for something new. I'm definitely more cautious and reserved, but his desire to try everything and fully experience life was contagious. I think that's why he was so much fun to be around.
Just over three years ago, Jack lost his life to cancer. He was only 27 years old. It's not the same without him. His absence is felt.
One thing I have learned about grief is that you never get over a loss. Losses change you forever.
Today Jack would have been 31 years old.
I wish he was here to celebrate. We all miss him.