Three years ago, our family got the worst news that seemed unimaginable. The news that shaped our hearts and our dreams. The news that made family events bittersweet. The news that kept you on your toes. The news that no matter how long it has been, it feels like it was just yesterday.

To many of you, November 8th is just another day. To our country, it is Election Day. To my family, it’s the day that changed everything. The day that our hearts were shattered. Emersen was diagnosed with cancer three years ago on November 8th. It’s the day I stare at the calendar and imagine what happened three years ago on this very day. My heart aches for this day. It hurts. It doesn’t make sense. It’s the day  I constantly ask, “Why? Why Em?”

I vividly remember this day. I remember this week very well, actually. I remember losing my best friend over a stupid fight. I remember feeling like life couldn’t get shittier. I laid in bed sick because I was so heartbroken. I was supposed to be going out on a date to a football game with a boy that I was crazy about. Then, a phone call with my mom that Friday afternoon changed it all. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to tell my mom what I was going to wear. I could feel the emotions in my mom’s voice. “Abbie, I need you to stay home tonight.” Being my usual self, I was defensive and angry pressing on why I couldn’t go. Then, I got an answer.  She said the words I constantly replay in my head. I avoided Emersen being sick for at least three days. I was in denial. I was lost. I was heartbroken. I would ball my eyes out at school. I couldn’t focus. I just wanted it to be a cruel lie. I just wanted to be in SF. I wanted it to be a lie for 2 years, 9 months and 21 days. I wanted my baby cousin back. I wanted my family back. I wanted everything to be normal.

Nothing was normal. Nothing is normal now. Our family is aching. Our hearts hurt. They hurt now more than they did then because now she’s gone. I always said when she was getting worse how I felt like she left a long time ago but her body was still here. I still feel like that is true. There are things that I avoid because I know she loved certain things. You know the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles? I avoid it. It was her favorite. It has been three months and I still skip it. I’m not ready. Macaroons from Trader Joes? I absolutely  HATE them, but every time I see them I always think of her tea party at Grandma and Grandpas and how happy it made her.

I so badly wish I could just hold her one last time. Hug her. Kiss her. Play Pie-Face. Talk about superheroes. Everything. Anything. I wish I had one last time for everything. There are so many times I wish she could ask how I’m doing or just lay with me. Do absolutely nothing but just be here. It’s not fair. It never will make sense.

So Happy November 8th Eve. Happy Emmy Day Eve. Make the best out of each day. Make sure you tell everyone how much you love them because you never, ever know when it is going to be your last. Be brave. Be bold.

Love you Emmy. I miss you more every day.