It's amazing how a year slips by but the memories still leave their deep imprint on your soul.  So many days and so many tears have come and gone and yet the hole that was left when Sue went away has never been completely filled. 

It was only 12 months ago that Sue and I walked the darkest path, clinging to each other in equal measures of hope and desperation.  We walked together for comfort, faith, and for solace.  I realize now that we needed each other more than anyone can needed someone.  Rare is the gift of chemistry where two strangers can happen on each other so briefly and yet make a powerful bond that withstands the tests of time and space.

When our paths separated, I walked alone in the physical...but never in spirit.  A flame in my heart always reminds me that she's never too far away.  However, there are times...when I miss her presence.  When I'd fulfilled a lifelong dream of meeting Duran Duran, it was her company that I longed for the most.  I'd missed it so much, in fact that I even mentioned it to the band members and in a strange sort of way, allowing me to share the moment with her even now.  At night, when sitting in front of my computer, it is her voice that I miss...full of creativity and sharp wit.

It's because of that longing that I avoid the computer these days.  I try avoid writing, unable to express what it is to lose one the soul that has made such an impact on my life... 

Impact...that is definitely the word for it.  I've had a year to absorb and reflect on this...and that is the word.  Her impact was merely kindness.  I wondered if she ever realized that one kind word could change someone's life forever...  Kindness can sometimes stem the flow of tears, mended the broken-hearted or the broken in spirit...  Kindness can make the lonely and outcast feel like a part of the fold again.  In short, kindness can give strength to those that have none.

It was her kindness that gave me strength during the most tumultuous time of my life.  And it was on that strength that my life now rests.  So many changes have happened to me in the time that has passed...but I know that it wouldn't have happened without her love and tenderness.  Her almost maternal instincts led her to say all of the right things...even when the news was unpleasant.  But hearing it from her...with her gentleness made the bitter pills go down easier.

The moments are few and far between when I *don't* think of her.  Sometimes, it could just be something she'd mentioned in a conversation.  Sometimes, it's an object that triggers a memory...  Sue just never seems too far from my mind.  Even the figurine on my desk...of Pooh and Tigger reminds me of the wonderful moments we managed to share.  Moments of strange and unbridled freedom and imagination...times of happy insanity and laughter.  Who else could I share my obsessions of music and writing with?  Who else could I share my bizarre dreams and unwritten story ideas with?

Like I said, chemistry is a rare gift.  And the ability of Sue and I to share and grow in each other's company has brought me moments of intense joy.  And losing that has brought a shattering pain that will take a long time to mend...if mending is even possible.

I do know that I've learned from her...I've learned from her life as well as her passing about life itself and how fragile it is.  Most of us go through life trudging through life.  For me, I now am glad for each day...glad for another moment with those I love, grateful for each warm embrace and tender word.  I relish the sweet moments now...knowing that in time, that security and comfort can change into pain and loss.  The changes happen at the speed of existence that is ever changing...a picture that is is constant flux.  You just never know what will happen a year, a month, a week, an hour, a minute or even a second from now.

I miss you, Sue.  And I've attached the autographs as I've promised.  Simon says hello and yes, Nick *is* as cool as you thought he'd be.

I love you, Sis.