16 years. I can’t believe it’s been 16 years since you left us. It’s hard to believe that all this time has passed. It seems so long ago, and yet I still remember everything that happened in 2002 like it was only yesterday.
I still remember picking up that phonecall to Kuya’s panicked voice asking to speak to Mom & Dad. I still remember watching Mom, Dad, and Lola Nelly rush out of the house without so much a word of an explanation. I still remember Dad coming home that night and sitting Lorel and I down with the most somber look on his face telling us what had happened to you… that you were laying in a coma, in the hospital after being struck by a car in front of Choueifat. I remember Dad telling us that we probably weren’t going to go back to school for the next couple of days at least, and that we would get to visit you in the morning. I remember seeing you in that coma for the first time at Al Ain Hospital. I remember crying. I remember the pain. I remember the next two weeks and the sleepless nights at the hospital, and all the uncertainty that was looming in the air; but most especially I remember the outpouring of love from everyone in the community, not just from Al Ain, but from across the entire country. People coming to visit you, hailing in from places as far as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.
Love, love, love, and just so much love. You left your mark in this world, Loren. We all saw the impact you had on everyone in your life when you died, and I know that it was because of your heart. Similar to Lorel, I like to think that I love as hard as I do because of you. Because of what your death represented: that time is so fleeting, and life is too short. I’ve really been thinking about you so much lately. Not sure if it’s because my life has been going through some major transitions over the past few years, or that sometimes I find myself in these dark spaces and I wonder what you would say to me as an older sister. Or perhaps it also has something to do with this journey that I’m on.. this journey of self-love and self-discovery as I’m striving to live my life with more purpose and intention. I don’t know what it is, but regardless, you’ve been on my mind and I miss you. I really do.
I’m not one to live in the past, but sometimes I can’t help but wish you were still here with us. I often wonder where your life would have taken you. You were so smart and so kind, that I know whatever you would have set your mind to, you would have continued to affect the people around you in the most positive and beautiful way. I hope we make you proud. Everyone is doing so well now. Lorel just became a CPA, Kuya is now engaged and working at McGill University, whilst Mom just passed her Immigration and Consultancy Exam, and Dad is coming up to 10 years of working at the college. As for myself, well I’m living in Europe now getting my Master’s Degree although I’ll be moving to Hong Kong in a few short months. Again, I guess I’m just trying to figure out where in this world I belong, I suppose. Lorel and I have plans to travel together this summer and it’s the first time we’ll be traveling as adults together. I wish you were coming with us. I think that that would have been so fun. But one can only dream, and in my thoughts and in my dreams is where the memory of you will continue to live.
Although I was so young when you died, I still have vivid memories of you; and to be completely honest, one of my biggest fears is that one day, I’ll start to forget. This is why I honour your memory today, so I can keep you alive within me. This isn’t the first letter I’ve written to you, and it certainly won’t be the last.
So until next time,
I just want to say that I love you so much Loren; and wherever you are, I hope your soul is at peace.
always & forever,
your younger sister,