For me, the most important unattached branch is Tiffany. I met Tiffany when she was about three and I was probably two. We might have been older, I just don't remember. She was one year and eleven days older than me, we even argued over it once, but that's a story for another time.
Some of my most vivid childhood memories involve Tiffany whether we were at one of our houses, spending the week at summer camp or competing against each other in track or basketball.
By high school, circumstances in my life changed and Tiffany and I lost touch, but I never forgot her. When someone is that much a part of your life, you don't forget them. I would hear some things about her here and there, but that was all.
I finally found Tiffany again - on Facebook about five years ago. We reconnected, but it just wasn't the same. It didn't matter though because Tiffany and I were in each other's lives again.
It wasn't too long until Tiffany started getting sick and spending more time in the hospital than I'd ever known her to spend - kidney failure. It's something that all of us with spina bifida worry about and our parents fear. In a house with a child who has spina bifida, "drink your water," is the 11th Commandment.
I knew the end was coming, I could feel it even though the thought of living in the world without Tiffany literally made sick to my stomach. I made arrangements to make a surprise visit to see her while I was in town for work. I wanted to see her one last time, I wanted to say goodbye and make amends because I regretted all that time that we were apart. I didn't get that chance because she passed away on October 2, 2012. She was thirty years old.
Some people asked why, if I didn't get to see her or talk to her that much after we reconnected, would I still refer to her as my best friend. The truth is, she simply was the best. Even when I was mad at her for some trivial reason, I couldn't imagine my life without her. No one can say that they shared all of those experiences with me except for Tiffany.
We all have unattached branches. We all have a person or people who add to our life's story. Who are your unattached branches? Have you told them you love them? Have you made amends? Have you granted forgiveness?
How do you plan to make sure that your ancestors know about these important people in your life?
In Loving Memory
Tiffany L. McKee
21 Dec 1981 - 2 Oct 2012