The girls have given me one of the most precious presents any dad could wish for, a book they made of photos and their comments and thoughts about our relationship.
But this is a copy of the birthday card Laura sent to Akila.
The Grassy Road That We Walk Together
A Love Letter from One Sister to Another
I write this because I want you to know how much I love you and care about you. I know that people do not see what we have and at times we may not realise what we share; but I hope to make it clear that no matter what mountain is put in front of us I am here for you and it is an honour to walk hand-in-hand along this grassy road with you and have God as our guide. For every mountain that has come and every mountain still to come, know that I love you ever so much.
A lump in my throat has formed as I type these very words. I want you to know that past all the typical sisterly issues, I love you very much. I never got the chance on Earth to tell Mike just how much I loved him; only in my dreams, now, have I had such a pleasure. Paper may not last forever but words do and therefore I want you to know that I love you and if anything happened to you I truly would be heartbroken, just like I have been with Mike. Akila I love you. I feel the lump in the throat and the tears down my cheek as I express my love for you.
Oh, holding you tightly in my arms as we walked closer to our brother, who lay in a deep sleep in his coffin, was a moment I will never forget. Do not underestimate the power that relationships can have on people. I do not think you realise just how life-changing that moment was, as a sister, when I held you in my arms to physically walk you towards Mike. Akila, it took us 45 minutes to walk 2 meters- keeping my eyes on you for those full 45 minutes and holding you tightly, keeping you safe was something I, as a sister, will cherish till the day I die and may even take with me to place at the feet of our God when we reach the Kingdom of Heaven. I love you and Mike so much. The three of us in that room, together, gave a sense of unity; even though his spirit was not present. His legacy remained.
It was always the three of us… always. All our midnight picnics; our passwords to enter our secret clubs; dressing up as the three fairies from Sleeping Beauty; having Sports Days in the back garden; being on a team to play board games against Mum and Dad- it was always the three of us. So then to have that last moment in that room together, him in a deep sleep and you and me watching over him, was such a beautiful conclusion to a brother-sister relationship. Oh how I love you both.
I get teary when this topic is mentioned because it means so much to me and at times I do not know what to do with the truth… So here it is: I am telling you that I love you and always will!
Akila, our relationship is very unique. No matter what anyone tells you, you are extremely unique. No one will ever go through exactly what we have gone through in exactly the same way. Our love is so special. Your story is matchless. The timing and the emotions we felt at certain times make up who we are. Our experiences we have faced mould us into who God wants us to be. Everything that has happened and will happen in your life has been for a reason. Live wisely and allow God to mould you; then finally, one morning, you will open your eyes and realise that you really are God’s daughter- a princess of the living God. You will see that you are so beautiful because you will have been true to yourself and will have allowed yourself to be YOU… no one else.
Akila, I love you. Never forget what the three of us have written together because you may find that one day you will need those memories to get you through something difficult.
Open your eyes. Look next to you. I am here. Look up. God is even closer! Now, look behind God. He has the gates of Heaven awaiting you. Within those gates, Mike waits for us.
I want to wish you a very Happy Birthday, Akila, and I love you so much!
Love from your sister,
P.S God told me to tell you that Mike loves you too…