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On Lessons Learned

Sometimes I think I find it too easy to get lost in thoughts of grandeur. I find myself smiling politely at little gestures and comments and then moving on to the next more exciting thing. There always seems to be something bigger and better. I worry that I’m losing the ability to revel in the unextraordinary.

I still remember getting good morning texts from you. Usually the same thing every morning, simple and to the point. I used to think it was just your way of making sure we were up, trying to ward off any panicked calls to mom and dad about the homework we left behind in a mad dash to get to the bus stop on time. I think now I recognize it a little more for one of the ways that you reminded us that somewhere, someone was thinking of us and loving us for everything that we are on days where you weren’t there to send us off in the mornings yourself. I took those texts for granted. I like to blame it on a crazy schedule, to think that maybe if I had been in the habit of waking up a few minutes earlier I would have used those minutes to acknowledge you. I hope you didn’t think it was apathy. I want you to know that even if I rolled my eyes when you tacked my pet name onto the end of the usual good morning text, that little extra bit of love you sent me found its target. I hope you know I smiled even when I didn’t reply to you right away.

I didn’t realize how important those texts were to me until they stopped coming. I remember one of the first mornings after you were gone. Someone texted me good morning and even though I knew that they most likely intended to make me smile at the reminder of you, I remember breaking down upon seeing it. I would do anything to see your name flash across my phone in the mornings. I think after losing you I realized how much the little things meant to me and just how much you had mastered them.

You were a master of the little things. I remember you squeezing life lessons into our driving lessons without my noticing until years later. I remember seeing the things that you would do for my siblings and my parents. The way that even if it came with a sarcastic smile, we knew that there was so much love behind it. I see bits of you now in my family, almost like you were leaving behind breadcrumbs in each of us, knowing how much we would need you after you were gone. I’m learning so much from you even now about how to love and convey that love.

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