May 10, 1999

Dear Emily,

I love you. I will always love you.

Our family can be very daunting, and I can very well fathom how much pressure you must feel from them to do what is best, what is right, and, most of all, what they call "normal". I don't expect any of those things from you. All I want is to be here for you.

When my mom told me that you were in the hospital, my heart almost stopped.

It leapt into my throat, and tears poured down my cheeks. I was deeply angry. Not at you, my precious niece, but at them: my mom, and yours, for not calling me sooner. Why didn't they call me so I could hold your hand as they pumped your stomach, so I could keep everyone and their questions away from you, protect you like I've always done?

Then I felt guilty, because I had already sensed something was bothering you. You didn't want to go out with me, you just wanted to stay home. It didn't look like you, but I did nothing. I didn't want to push. I figured you were going though a sixteen-year-old stage. And that you are.

But remember, dear Em, that no matter what your grandfather says, sixteen-year-olds are not supposed "to be happy all the time." He told me that too, as a father. He didn't seem to think that teenagers should feel any conflict.

But he's wrong, my darling. He's not supposed to know what is right, or what is "normal." He is supposed to learn from you, with you.

Our family makes it hard. But I fought them. I fought them when I was sixteen, and I will fight them again now if I have to. You remember what it was like, don't you Emily? You were only twelve, and you helped me win.

Let me help you win now.


Together we'll argue with them, and make them understand. You know that deep down, they all really do love us. And they want us to be happy. The sad part though is that they think they know what it is that will make us happy; they think everything is easily answered by turning to God. But we know better, don't we?

God's love is the easy love. It's the humans that make it difficult.

No matter what your mother tells you, God loves you. He forgives. So don't buy into her "natural - but - abnormal" speech. That sentence doesn't even make sense. Love happens between two people - and genders don't matter. I thought a lot about it since I found out what happened. I understand now. When two people are as close as you and she, a bond forms, and that bond is love, just as strong as any other.

That's what matters. Eventually they will see that.

Remember when I fought my fight, and they told me I was abnormal. It took them two years, but they got over it, and invited the boy they hated for so long into their home.

Eventually, if that's what you want, they'll do that for you, too. Until then, you have me and you have her.

I'm here for you whenever you need me.

You always have a place to stay, a shoulder to cry on, and an ear to listen. I promise.

So, please, don't ever turn to pills again.

You don't have anything to feel guilty about. Don't let your parents force you into that guilt.

You aren't alone.

Never, ever.

I love you,


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