Dear Family,

How do I even begin to put into words all of the thoughts flying around in my head right now? I'd try to be eloquent, but I know that honesty is more important than flashy words. So, honesty is what I will give you.

You've been there for me my entire live. Laughing with me, crying with me, and yes, even fighting with me. And while we've had some bad times between us, I cherish each and every minute we've shared. Each moment, whether bad or good, has helped to shape me into who I am today, and will continue to shape me into the man I am to become. The impact you've had on my life will never be matched by anyone else. Part of you will always live on in me. Every success I have in life is credited to you.

Jan - I knew I loved you from the time you decided to play a nasty prank on me. I will never forget the day you were sick and laying on the couch. You looked at me and told me the next time I saw you, you would be in casket. Quite the morbid prank to play on your little brother, but now I look back on it and it is one of my favorite memories of you. It was then when I knew how much you meant to me. The thought of not having you in my life was just too much for me to take. We shared a lot of good times, and hopefully this move won't signal the end of them. Remember the night we talked to each other in our sleep? That is another memory I will always carry with me. And how can I forget all those times you tried to feed me dog poop?! You liked to make your little brother's life as difficult as possible, didn't you. Of course, I got you back with the ashtray. Despite all of our rivalry, I will always love you, and you will always be my favorite sister. And not just because you are my only sister. Your going to make a wonderful mother. Mikala is blessed to have you. I love you.

Mikala - For only being in my life a little over two years, you certainly have found a way to become so special to me so quickly. Everytime I see you, even if it was just a couple days ago, you seem so different. You're growing so quickly and becoming such a wonderful little girl. It makes me sad that I'm not going to be around to see you grow and learn. I have loved watching you grow up from a tiny little thing into the sassy little thing you are. You have a great mom. Be good to her for me, ok? I also give you permission to give her a little bit of trouble since I'm not going to be around to do it. Be sure to send me a lot of pictures of you as you grow up. Make sure to give all the little boys hell, ok? I know you're only two, and I know that I don't remember much (if anything) from when I was that age. I just hope that you will carry at least one memory of me with you and that you won't forget me. You'll always be my Mini-Mimi. I love you.

Smudge - yes, I'm writing to you too. You're an important part of my life here. I remember the first day. Mom brought you home trying to surprise us with you. She had you hidden in her coat and you were squirming to get out. It's been six glorious years with you. I'm going to miss being jumped on and attacked with a tongue bath. You're a wonderful dog. I love you.

Mom - No, I didn't save you for last because you were least important. I saved you for last cuz you're the hardest one to write to. There's so much to say and I have no idea how to say any of it. You gave me life. How am I supposed to thank you for that?! You were the one who took care of me for 19 years. You were the only one who was there for me my entire life. You never once turned your back on me. You've supported me through the hard times. You celebrated with me in times of joy. You cryed with me in times of sorrow. You reminded me to clean my room all the time. If I had to pick one person who I owe everything to, without a moment of thought, I hand the crown to you. I am who I am because of you. Even though we fight and don't really talk much about our feelings, I want you to know that you do mean more to me than life itself. And even though we are parting now, you will continue to be with me every moment of every day. You will always be in my heart for as long as I live. Sharing your strength. Sharing your wisdom. Sharing your love. There is no way I will ever be able to repay you for everything you have done for me. I hope you know how much I respect you for everything you are. I'll always be your baby, your little Knuckles. I hope that someday I can make you proud of your little boy. I love you. I love you. I love you.

In closing, thank you to all of you for being there and making my life full of happiness and love. I will never forget any of you and hope I will remain in your hearts the way you will all remain in mine. I will leave you with a song that says exactly what I feel.

Letting Go

Letting go
When the day comes that I must say goodbye to you
It's the last thing in life I'll ever want to do
I know it has to be
But it's so hard for me

Letting go
Facing up to the truth that it is time to part
Giving way to the day that may well break my heart
It's not a thing I choose
To win I have to lose

Letting go
Moving on in my life into the time to come
Day by day, page by page, sure of what I've become
But then you always knew
That's what I had to do

For I know the only way to grow is just by letting go

Letting go
When the time comes I know I shall return someday
But til then this is when I have to find my way
It's a fact of life though it's hard to bear
There will always be all the love we share
Still the hardest thing is letting go

The hardest thing is letting go

It's time for me to let go now. I love you.

-Nicholas Craig Mitchell