Hi Tall,

Walking through the unfamiliar hallways of building 1 at the SF General Hospital brought back the same gut wrenching feeling when I first rushed there after our trip from India.  Five months later and it still hasn’t gotten any easier.

It’s an incomprehensible feeling that I’ll probably never be able to explain, and I know I wasn’t the only one feeling it.  After 5 months I saw some of the same faces that sat with me in the waiting room day in and day out; the same faces that I hugged with a compassion that only we would understand when you left us.  As I looked around the room, they were same faces that tried to smile through Papi’s beautiful tribute with red swollen eyes as each of us wished so desperately that you were still here.

I miss you… so much.

I know, and have faith, that you are smiling down upon all of us with your mom and that you haven’t left us, but your departure has left me broken and for some reason I can’t put the pieces back together.  Maybe it’s not meant to be okay, but I know that’s not what you would have wanted.  I know I can’t change the past, and that it’s important to look forward but some days I just want to curl up in a ball and cry to bring you back to life.

I do have to thank you for giving us Papi though.  His love, belief and journey continue to amaze me every time I get to see him.  Where I hold a grudge in my heart, his soul is filled with a positive light that affects every person he comes into contact with.  In the moments where I want to break down and cry, Papi helps me realize that we are all on a journey through life that has its own ups and downs.  He helps me see that we are merely puppets in IMG_2233this game of life and we can only control the things that we can control; most of it is not up to us.
Through his passion and his deep love, Papi has immortalized you and your mom in a way that will be admired for generations to come.  He worked with Dr. Dicker, an angel sent from the heavens who worked on you day and night during that horrific week, and The Wraparound team, an equally amazing and supportive group of people, to bring you to life, and to keep you alive.  The mural is beautiful Tall.  It’s everything you would have wanted it to be.

For the past few months, Papi went to meeting after meeting to discuss his ideas, to develop the concept and he worked with a lot of people to raise funds in order to bring his vision to life.  A lot of people helped him, and we are all grateful for their contributions. And he just completed everything he set out to accomplish.

He created the tree of life that unifies all people, while honoring you and your mom.  Papi made sure to pay attention to the little details that you both have experienced on yIMG_2223our individual journeys. He even gave San Francisco a special shoutout because the city has been a pivotal point in your lives.  I like to think he drew you with your hand over San Francisco so that the friends you left behind know you’re still very much with them.

I know it’s super selfish of me to think that, but I need that hand resting over me more than most people know.

I also like to think that he drew your mom as an angel overlooking the universe and the journey that all of us are on.  When I look at the mural, I like to imagine that she’s the one smiling the biggest in the picture because she’s the guiding light in our lives.  Not only is she watching over her family, but she is also keeping an eye out for all the people who arIMG_2230e now extended family for Papi.  Even though you and your mom aren’t physically here Tall, you’ve left Papi with more family than he probably knows how to deal with.  And I think each one of us has secretly, and not so secretly vowed to make sure he stays happy and fulfilled.  He’s so special to us, and you’ve made our lives so much better because he’s with us now.

I don’t think missing you will ever go away.  There isn’t one day that goes by where you don’t cross my mind.  To be honest, I still text your number hoping that you will magically respond even though I know it’s not possible.  I love you Tall, and I’m not the only one that’s always thinking about you, but I know you know this.

Here’s to drinking terrible crown shots in your honor for the rest of life.  Even though I will never like it, I will happily continue to do it for as many days as I have left.

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We can’t wait to see you again.  Rest easy for all of us.

With love,
Vaishali