“Life is for the living,” a phrase I remember my dad saying more than once but never after the passing of my nine year old sister, Britney. Just because life is for the living and time goes on because it must- doesn’t lessen the sorrow or dull the pain. The living do keep living and as time goes on the feelings of loss simply change – they never lessen.
In the years since Brit’s passing so much has changed – it seems like everything is different. The joy Brit brought my family and so many others is now clouded by sadness for a life cut far too short. It is not that we love Brit any less – we still love her fiercely and hold her close to our hearts which is why her absence is so painful.
There are days when we can remember Brit with laughter and not tears but that is rare in February. Holidays and special occasions when our family gathers always feel like someone is missing.
When Brit passed, she had one nephew now she two (soon to be three) nephews and three nieces. She was an amazing aunt who loved so passionately it was a sight to see. I so wish, Brit, had the opportunity to meet the rest of her nieces and nephews because there is no doubt in my mind they would bring each other the greatest of joy.
During her short life, Brit brought me such happiness. Maybe it was because she never lost her youthful innocents (she died believing in Santa Claus and still sleeping with her baby blanket) that she was able to exude passion, love, and positivity like no one else I have ever known.
One of my biggest fears is that Brit’s memory will fade or even be forgotten by some. She lived a short life but she touched so many. My parents did not expect to have a fourth child after their oldest three graduated from high school but they did and she changed them in so many ways. But it was not just my parents or immediate family who were touched by the magnetism of Brit it was our extended family, neighbors and friends just as it was her teachers, babysitters and classmates.
So on this the eighth anniversary since Brit left this world, I ask as I do every year, for you to take a moment to honor Brit’s memory.
25 Things You Might Not Know About Brit
- She loved Shaggy when she was a toddler
- After begging me for weeks to teach to ride a two wheeler (on my spring break) she decided it was too much work and tried to put the training wheels back on when I wasn’t looking
- Brit carried her cabbage patch doll, Donnie, by his hair
- On Christmas night 2006 Brit and I went roller skating…she became a really good skater in 2007
- Brit supported Hillary Clinton in the primary because she wanted a “chick” in the White House (This would be the first presidential election she would be eligible to vote – I am guessing I know who she would support)
- Brit loved to write, we found dozens of stories, letters and journals when we cleaned her room
- She hated to be alone but could entertain herself for hours
- Brit liked to watch Deal or No Deal
- Britney was a hugger, she greeted everybody with a hug
- Her favorite color was purple
- When I was in graduate school, I was a nanny…Brit told her kindergarten class she wanted to go to graduate school when she grew up because that means you get to play with kids all day
- One her favorite games was Apples to Apples. On New Year’s Eve 2007 Brit beat 8 adults at the adult version of the game…
- She loved to swim
- Britney walked in her first parade when she was 5, she was stickering people for the Obama for US Senate campaign
- I don’t think she ever took a bad picture
- I cut Brit’s umbilical cord
- Brit loved to dance at weddings, she was the first one on the floor and the last one off
- Brit enjoyed arts and crafts, especially when she was in the hospital…sand art was a favorite
- Brit slept with her baby blanket nestled next to her face almost every day of her life
- Brit was baptized in Gram’s apartment
- She was a realist. After she begged for McDonald’s she didn’t eat more than a bite or two…I told her that there were children on the other side of the world who had been working for 10 hours and have not eaten in days…she must have sensed that I was laying it on thick or trying to make her feel guilty because she replied…”everyone has problems, Kacie…” she was 5
- She had a great sense of direction…she always gave me directions when I was in AZ
- Brit was tough and brave
- She had an amazing sense of self
- The day before Brit was put in the coma I told her “you are my favorite,” she replied I am everybody’s favorite