Today you graduated from high school. In some ways this is a huge thing, in others it is simply a day on your journey from here to there. Lately I've been looking at it as just a day, any other Saturday where we get dressed up and all of us do something together. But this has been a coping method because while it is was another day, it was The Day. The one where you end what you've been doing for the past four years and actively look forward to where you'll be going for the rest of your life.
This week I have been sifting through my mental images of you. Sometimes I cry, other times I laugh at the sheer outlandishness that is you. There is the you where you tell strangers that you had a twin sister who passed away, only to inform them she was eaten by lions. That brought scolding looks of judgement. There is the you who waded into a country club swimming pool fully clothed just because you felt like it. There is the you who refused to wear underwear because you found it inconvenient. There is the you who kicked butt on the soccer field even though you were outsized by any girl out there. There is the you who kicked ass in the mock trial courtroom and sassed a judge because you believed you were right. In all instances you truly believed you were in the right and that is something I so admire about you: you do everything with all your soul and watch the hell out for anybody who gets in your way. All of these memories bring a sense of bittersweet joy. They warm me to the core of my soul and leave me in tears.
Today as your dad and I were walking to the car after your graduation ceremony, I finally understood what was caught in my throat. I happened to look at the mountains and suddenly they seemed closer, smaller. The sky slightly dimmer, so much so that I removed my sunglasses to see if clouds were approaching. And that was when it hit me. It wasn't the weather. It was you. Cass, when you enter a room it gets bigger. The light shines brighter. The sounds intensify and the colors glow. Your soul shines, your spirit burns so intense it sometimes hurts. You arrived in our lives in a fit of fury and the lovely chaos you bring has never subsided.
I can't imagine a life without your intensity. You bring piles of clothing. You cast a spell on all of us around you so that we simply wonder what we can do to fulfill your needs. You make crazy demands that when in our company seem perfectly plausible. You Cass-jack our days on a near weekly, or daily, basis. You're loud, brash, outrageous. You're also kind, loving, have a wicked sense of humor. You kick all of our asses and then come in for a group hug. Simply put, you are brilliant in all ways.
Cassidy Jane, I love you to the ends of the earth and then some. You bent my world from the time you were within me and you continue to do so now. Today truly was another day, like so many other days. However, it was the day signifying that you will soon move on. Beyond us. Away from us. Thank you for these crazy years. I can't wait to see what you do, where you go and the sass with which you do it all. No matter where you do go and how you go I will love you with all my heart. You are my Red Sister, Kick Ass Cass, Sweet Red. You are bold, smart, beautiful.