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  • Writer's pictureCasie Shimansky

She would’ve been 33 today.

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

She would’ve been 33 today. 5,226 later. Nearly 15 years gone by. And since the sun came up this morning (and that tiny puppy stirred) I’ve struggled to find the words for this day. Day 5,226 — her 33rd birthday.

I’m used to that though — that feeling, the fear — what if everything’s already been said? What If.

Two of the most haunting, paralyzing words in life.

It’s usually why my posts are well into the evening. I’m waiting on words...

I skimmed through photos sporadically, waiting for the moment to hit. The moment that would set off the spiral...

I went through meetings, and projects, two cups of coffee, and strength training...and pushed through even when it hurt — hell, I smiled...knowing I’m this strong because of her.

I sprawled out on the floor with our puppies, lost in mindless thoughts of life...and death...and how we all got here, as time after time a beloved, torn up, no-longer stuffed piggie was raced back to me with an energy that only comes from sisters vying for the same tattered toy.

I scrolled through memories, all those words already said and posted and liked and commented on...looking for that whisper that was still out there to write. I thought about all the things she’s missed...just this year alone.

That’s when I stopped.

She has been in my dreams, and found in cool afternoon breezes. I’ve heard her voice, and felt her push. I see her daily in our friends and family who carry her torch — sometimes she pops up in an expression Stefanie throws, other times I catch her in the mirror. She’s never stopped laughing right alongside me, and when clothes go this day, I know it’s her.

Not every butterfly is her, but it’s usually when I don’t ask — that there’s no mistaking their flight. They’re ones I’ll never forget.

From beach butterflies headed out to sea and The Monarch who calmly floated outside the day we brought Kimbee home, to the one I didn’t catch the color of as it flew haphazardly towards my face on a day last week that was particularly tear-filled and trying with our little adventurer Kenobi.

She’s not missed a beat. She’s not missed a day. From a wink to a face smack — she’s always been right here. Showing me what silver linings are all about.

I don’t know what you get your sister who lives in Heaven for her 33rd birthday. But scrolling through all those words already said, it might be time to do something with them...

Happy Birthday, Kellie. I hope you and Reesie had one helluva day celebrating...White Claws are on me this weekend. #HeavenMightBeALeashlessDogBeach #ObviouslyHeavenHasWhiteClaws

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