It would have been your 29th birthday...

It's the day before my sister would have turned 29. I've been feeling it all day. It's a feeling I can't quite describe.

I don't want to go to bed, because if I do, and I wake up, the day is there. It will even be more than halfway gone in the Netherlands.

That's why I am still lying on the couch, while everyone else is sound asleep. I know I should go to bed too, but I just can't do it.

29. I wish she was still here to celebrate it with us.

A few days ago, I got a reminder to send another birthday card to her via Greetz, a service that I have been using for years and years to send birthday cards all over the world.

On the last birthday card that I sent to her last year, I made a stupid mistake: I wished her a happy 27th birthday, even though I knew she turned 28 that day.

I felt so bad about it, when she told me. She didn't mind at all. She was happy with the fact that I sent her a card.

When I went to the trailer, her 'huisje', to clean up after her death, I saw that she still kept the cards that I had sent her. Even the one from a year before.

They were standing on the side of her couch, for her to be seen every day.

For some reason, I didn't want them at the time. I threw them out. I don't understand why.

Tomorrow, I plan on sending a wish balloon into the air, to let her know I still think about her every single day.

I know she knows that I think a lot about her, and I know she's with me.

I have felt her around me at my new job. I even told my students about her on my first day. I made a Google slides presentation (well, actually my youngest son made it) and I wanted to show my students where I came from. I showed them pictures of my mom, dad, brother and sister.

Since my student are special needs, I didn't want to make it too heavy. I showed them a picture of my sisters mortuary card, with the silver heart that holds her ashes in front of it.

My students didn't say a lot, but I knew they got it. It was probably one of the first times that I spoke about her, without crying.

I knew my sister loved being included in my presentation, she loved being in the middle of attention. Me not so much.

She's been with me in my first, very hard days at my new job. She made me see that whatever went wrong, and believe me that was a lot, I was there for my students. She made me push through.

Her mortuary card is standing downstairs in our living room, and upstairs, in my office. It is her that makes me push through when I don't know how to stay awake anymore.

A few days ago my colleagues and I were talking about turning grey. I told them I was very grey too, and they told me it wasn't very visible (I am very light blonde).

I then told them I didn't think I would ever dye my hair again, since I was very proud of my grey hair.

Getting older isn't so bad anymore, when your sister will forever stay 28.

If you want to go to my Facebook groupy page and give it a like, that would be awesome!

Or, you can go to my ChicagoNow website and read a lot more of my articles.

Or you just do nothing and miss out.

Whatever you chose: have a marvelous rest of your life!

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