Every time you think "things couldn't get worse," they do. I usually say that when I'm being dramatic but usually follow it up with, "Well, I guess this or that could happen to make it worse, but this still sucks."
Andrew, Dad, Me
Well this sucks. Death. Losing a loved one unexpectedly. Sucks. Yes, it could be worse, I could be without  all of my siblings, parents, and grandparents. But still, this sucks.
Andrew & Marshall
I sit here listening to mom crying in the other room as she goes through your things we picked up today. She has been so strong through all of this, as I expected she would be. I have only seen her come to the verge of tears a few times today, but I guess she decides to let it all loose when she can be in private away from my baby brother (he's not really a baby anymore since he's 16, but still).
Andrew & Mom
I find situations like these awkward. How do you tell someone that your brother died without making them feel awkward too. And then it gets really awkward when they start crying and you are just standing there not because you just feel numb.
Marshall & Andrew
After years of watching you struggle, watching the family struggle because of it, I'm glad that you are finally at peace. I do wish the outcome would have been different, but it's nothing we can change now. I feel like I missed out on so much since I was away at college and then moved to Houston. But I do still have many found memories that I cling to...in a healthy way.

It had been months since we emailed, but in the last one you sent you had told me how good you were doing and how you finally had your head on straight. You told me how much you liked spending time with the family again and how you would never go back to the way things were. I was so excited for you. Excited that the "lost years" were over. Excited that I would get to see you when I went home to visit and that I would be able to get to know you again. I wish that you would have clung to those words and feelings so you would still be with us now.
Andrew's 1st skateboard
I remember when you broke your back and had to wear the back brace that made it impossible for you to straighten your hair (I still can't believe you used to do that). I was home for the weekend and jumped at the opportunity to help you because I had always wondered what it would be like to have a sister, and doing hair is something that sisters would totally do. As I straightened to your level of perfection the Lipgloss song came on. You cracked me up when you knew all the words and were trying to dance with your head.

When we were kids we used to share a bed at grandma's house. Since I'm 4.5 years older I was on the up and up with the Santa Clause business, but I didn't want to spoil it for you so I would play along. You would come up with these plans to stay up late and catch him. I think you even tried to use your talkboy to record him. It never worked, but we would end up waking up wayyyy before everyone else and sneak down to peek into the stockings. One time you accidentally knocked yours over and a toy inside went off really loud so we ran back up stairs to act like we were sleeping so we wouldn't get in trouble. You would also write long letters to Santa asking all kinds of questions and expecting a response, which he always left. I remember the year you made reindeer food at school and you were so excited to put it in grandma's yard to make sure they would want to stop.

Playing basketball with Dad on the weekends when we were little. We would always make fun of him for the time that he was showing off by dribbling in a circle really fast saying "can you do this? can you do this?" and then he tripped.

Playing at Grandma's house. The ten-Lizzie's, 3 wheeled bike with the basket, dressing up, the money wars with Justin and Joanna (Joanna found the stash the day of your funeral, so I think we won).
Marshall & Andrew
I remember your birthday when you were 4 or 5 and almost everything you got was about Barney, and you got that Tracker (I think that's what it was called). We would spend hours ridding up and down the block with that thing.
Marshall, Jessica, Andrew, Mom
At Mom's wedding when you were getting emotional you decided to make Marsh laugh so you would laugh and y'all were busting up during the whole ceremony. I was giving you the stink eye, but luckily mom didn't mind because she was so happy to see her boys happy.
Mom, Me, Andrew, Marshall - Mom's Wedding
I loved watching you play soccer. Mom always forced me to go because as a teenager I would much rather be with my friends all the time, but once we got there it was so much fun to watch you play on your indoor team. You were so talented. I was always a little jealous about how easy athletics came to you since I'm anything but coordinated.

One time we were playing I accidentally hurt you. You wouldn't stop crying and I didn't want to get in trouble, so I stuffed a sock in your mouth and started doing things to make you laugh. Yeah, that was a little messed up, but it worked. We laughed about it a lot later.
Andrew, Timmy, Me - In March
The last time I saw you, in March, you drove us to Dad's house. You were so excited to show me your new car. I was excited to see it, but very nervous to have to drive me. We had such a good time talking about music, life in Houston, and visiting with Dad.

Your funeral was beautiful. It was insane to see how many people came, how many friends you had, how many lives you touched. I wonder if you even realize how much you meant to everyone. I'm jealous that I didn't get to know you the way they did when they say how much of an impact you made on them.

I miss you so much. I'm sad that I didn't get to see the person you would become once you beat it, because I was so sure that you would. I'm sad for the memories that we no longer get to make, such as the Houston trip we had discussed after your 21st birthday this December. I'm sad that the people that were with you didn't call for help before abandoning you, as if we wouldn't find out that you weren't alone after all. I hope that this tragedy will have a positive impact on the choices that Marshall will make growing up because I can't lose him too. I thank God for the time that we did have together, that you are no longer in pain, that I still have Marshall and the rest of the family. You will always be in my heart and thoughts, and I look forward to being with you again someday.


  1. Anonymous20.11.11

    Lovely and sweet. Andrew was a sweet quirky kid.. We miss him.

  2. Anonymous20.11.11

    Wow. That brought tears to my eyes! He was such a great guy and will be missed by many!

  3. This is beautiful Jess. I especially love the stories from when you were kiddos, Lins has some "torture" stories too ;) Love you lots sweet girl, and keep your chin up!!

  4. brittaney sanders26.11.11

    wow girl this was beautiful im staying sober because of him i love and miss him and i pray for your family everyday...