Dear Loren,

You are with me today. I can feel your presence all around me. Two sentences in and I’m already crying writing this to you. Literally, the first lyrics I hear when I turn on the radio this morning, “I wish heaven had visiting hours”. Goosebumps, I tell you. So I stood there and just listened. Closed my eyes, held my heart and pictured you. Pictured me visiting you. Oh, the things I would tell you.

And then these lyrics played, “You’d say, “Remember that the answer’s in the love that we create”. So much has changed since you’ve been away”. And I just lost it. How can it be that it has been 20 years since you left our world and yet, it doesn’t feel that long ago at all? I remember the day of your passing like it was yesterday. I was so young but old enough to understand that I had lost you. Forever. Well, lost you in this life anyway because I know for sure in my heart that we will meet again one day.

So much has changed indeed. Can you believe your little sister is a homeowner now? And in The Netherlands for that matter! Isn’t that crazy? Last time I wrote to you, Robbert and I had signed for the house but we didn’t get the keys until April last year. It’s been a wild ride. Robbert and I have such big dreams for ourselves, and our future family. We have been working so hard and some days, it’s super hard but we just keep reminding ourselves of the big dream. I often wonder what sort of dreams you’d be creating and living right now. You were always such a dreamer too. And I guess for now, that’s where we will continue to meet. In my dreams that I have of you.

Anyway, this past Christmas was super special because Robbert and I shared our home with the family. I wish you could have been there. It was really an amazing feeling to have the family experience the life I had built and created for myself in the Netherlands. We had so much fun together but sadly, Kuya and Sadia could not make it and we missed them a lot.

Everyone is doing well though, but I know I can speak for everyone when I say that we all miss you. 20 years. Seriously. I just need to say that again because I just cannot believe that it has been this long. On paper, it sounds so long. It really does, but no matter how much time goes by, I think the pain of losing you will always somewhat remain. It makes me even more sad to think about the other milestones that I won’t get to share with you. Now that we’ve bought this house, Robbert and I will eventually get married one day, and will also start a family in a few years. But you won’t be here for all of that, just like you weren’t here to see the very first house we bought, and that just makes me so sad. But in the end I know, I know you are with me always. Perhaps not physically, but always with me in spirit. Just like today, reminding me with that song on the radio.

I love you so much Ate Loren. May your soul rest in peace.

Happy 20th birthday up in heaven. ❤

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