May 19th-
How can I love and hate this day with equal measure. The feelings seem to be all encompassing. The hurt, joy, pain, relief, and memories all flood in. Celebration and mourning intertwine so seamlessly I can’t see the start of one and the end of the other. They are so fully integrated, I doubt they will ever separate.

Looking back on what we’ve come through is both encouraging and despairing. Never did I think this would be the path. Never would I have chosen this option. And that, my friends, is why I am not God. I am not all- knowing, I am not all-seeing and I am not in control.

In my perfect world, my sister would be here. She would be celebrating this day with her college freshman and her newly turned 12 year old. She would eat cake and giggle and go shopping or maybe to a movie or… Pretty much anything. I can guarantee she would have taken her daughter out of school. Why? Because she would want to spend the day with someone. She hated being away from her kiddos.

Her love was fierce – there was no denying it. Her speech was meek, she never wanted to be the center of attention- but she was the center of so many others. Her kindness preceded her. She was always more concerned with the person she was with than the list that had to be done. That’s something I admire and and would do well to emulate.

She was beautiful. I always said growing up that if I ended up half as pretty as my sister, I would be beautiful. She carried that beauty not just in her looks, but in her countenance.

Her strength amazed me on a daily basis. Her ability to do without complaining was both admirable and infuriating. Surely no one was THAT humble, but she was.

I don’t say these things to exalt her- I say these things to remember her- to preserve what she stood for, WHO she mirrored. I say these things to remind her babies- she really WAS that person. I say these things to establish the monument that though this birthday is different. I still choose to celebrate her- to remember her.

Today I will eat McDonalds French fries. And drink Pepsi. And wear green. Today, I will speak kinder and complain less. Today I will cherish the moments I have with my children, for you never know when those moments will end. Today I will give glory to One who called my sister home to Glory. Today I will think of her- dancing on streets of gold. Who better to sing you Happy Birthday than the angels? Who better to celebrate with than the Creator?

We miss you Angela Marie Sarracino. Today we will celebrate you- in small and seemingly insignificant ways- but they are no less celebrations of the life you lived and the example you gave. Let us all strive to be more like Christ in remembrance of your legacy.