She was real. I know she was.

I remember brushing her long brown wavy hair. She could never sit still for long. I had to be quick and the bows never stayed in. She was too wiggly.

Perfectly wiggly.

I remember kissing the very tip of her perfect little nose. She would grin up at me and then throw her arms around my neck and hold on tight, giggling.

I remember her small and pretending. Always. To be a dog, on all fours, barking, wagging, rolling over. It was her favorite game.

I remember her laugh. It kind of took over her whole body. She could not contain her joy. It overflowed to all those around her until we were laughing too.

I remember her tears, her screams of pain, her questions of why did cancer have to happen to her. I had no answer. I still don’t.

I remember her kindness. Always thinking of others, how to cheer them up, how to ease their pain. Tea parties with Claire. Guinea pigs and snuggles with Sarah. Movies and popcorn with Nick. Smiles and a puppy hat for Zac. Laughing and talking with Miranda. Lollipops and butterflies for Carter. Right to the end.

I remember her little voice singing…you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey…please don’t take my sunshine away…

And now my sunshine has gone away.

But I will always remember…

Mercede Joy Carmichael
4/22/2002 ~ 2/13/2012