I wish I had a chance to tell you how much we have in common now.
Unlike some of the things you struggled with, I have acceptance (for the most part). I can't imagine a life of having to hide. Of having to lie about your "Friend" of having to like about your sickness later on. I wish you'd tried treatment. I wish you'd hung around a little longer. You were my favorite uncle, you still are. I at least got to tell you that.
You didn't get a chance to see me change. But I know you'd be proud of the woman I have become. I'm strong, Tommy.
I'm beautiful, Tommy. And I am taking everything that was sweet and joyous that I knew of you and keeping it bright and glowing in my life. I'm OUT, Tommy! I'm open. I love you, and miss you, and understand your struggles.
I'm helping other people be okay with themselves and accepting their best selves. I'm raising my children with open minds.
I'm never 15 minutes late, but when someone is I smile just a little and think of you. You and your special "Denton" time. I think of piano music floating through the house, and you sitting on the bench next to a very young pigtailed freckled me guiding my awkward fingers through ode to joy.
I still play it Tommy. I wish I could play more, but I can still play ode to joy. I think of playing tag, and being lifted and spun until I was dizzy and giddy and silly.
Thank you. You, ginger haired and beautiful. You silly, smiling, and sweet. You and everything that was the best about you.
A piece of you lives in me forever. I love you.