Watching someone you love battle cancer has got to be one of the hardest things to go through. I've lost a daughter, mother, and father. My mom and dad's passing were both unexpected and very sudden. There was no time to say goodbye. I didn't have to watch them live their last moments. It was extremely hard for me to deal with. I look back with regrets and sadness that they were taken from us too soon and too suddenly. With AJ, it's so different. I feel like watching him fight for his life is so much harder than losing my parents and our daughter. I didn't have to watch them fight to live. They were just gone. Watching my baby brother fight with everything he has and watch him slowly lose this battle is killing me. I hate that every single time I see him he looks worse and he is in so much more pain. It's like a piece of my heart and soul is being ripped away every single day. I don't know how to cope with this. I don't know what to say to him. So, I hold his hand and tell him I love him. I don't know what else to do. I've never felt so lost in my entire life. Watching him lay in his bed and wince from pain and cry out because he hurts all over is worse than I could have imagined. I knew when they told us that he had weeks to live that it was going to be hard. I knew it was going to take everything in me to deal with this. I knew it was going to hurt. I just never knew it would hurt this much. It consumes me. It is all I can think about. I wake up and he's the first thing on my mind. I lay in bed and he is the thought that drifts me off to sleep. Thoughts of him playing with his nephews and reading to them. Thoughts of him as a baby laughing. Thoughts of him celebrating birthdays with us. Thoughts of him standing in our wedding so proud and so happy that Brett and I were finally getting married. Thoughts of him playing in our mom's office while she worked because she didn't want to send him to daycare. She wanted him with her as much as possible. Thoughts of so many memories from the last 18 years. I hate that he is going through this. I want to help him, but I can't. I want to make him feel better. I want to take some of the pain for him because I can't stand to see him in so much pain. I wish things could be different. Why him? I feel like I ask God that question daily. I don't understand how someone so full of life and so loving should have to go through the things he's going through. It doesn't make sense and it's not fair. He is so loved by everyone who knows him. He is such an awesome person. I have always said that I hope our kids grow up to be just like him. He was never the typical teenage boy. He was so loving and so sweet. Sure he could be a pain in the ass, but that's one of the things we love about him. I love his sense of humor. His laugh. His smile. The way he would sleep and have his head cocked all the way back in what looked like the most uncomfortable position ever. The way he would grab one of the kids and snuggle with them on the couch. They adore him. They think he is their Superman. Every weekend they would ask if Uncle AJ was coming over. That was what we looked forward to every week. Our weekends with him. It didn't matter of we were sitting home watching movies and playing video games or heading out for a day at the beach to fish and swim. We loved having him here to share those moments with our family. It's so hard to accept the fact that those moments are slipping away from us. I have no regrets as far as my relationship with him because I have always told him how much I love him. He knows how much he means to us. He knows that he is and always will be a part of our little family. I don't want him to leave us. It doesn't feel right. It's not his time! He's still so young and we have so many more trips to the zoo that he should be at! How do you say goodbye to one of your best friends? How? I have been thinking about this for the last two weeks. I don't know what to say to him other than, "i love you". I pray to God every single day. I ask him to take this from AJ. To let him live his life. To let him graduate high school, go to college, get married, and have babies. I know that God has a plan. I don't know what that plan is, but I know there is one. AJ was put on this Earth and in our lives for a reason. He was put into our boys' lives for a reason. To show them love. They are so blessed to have had him in their lives. They know without a doubt that Uncle AJ would be there for them and love them no matter what. That is unconditional love! AJ and I had a talk 2 weeks ago and he told me, "Nichole, don't worry about me. God has a plan. If he needs me to be with him, I'm ok with that.". I need to listen to AJ and accept God's plan. As Brett says, "AJ is so special and so amazing that God wants him to be with him." As hard as it is, I need to accept that and know that AJ will be somewhere so much better than the place we are now. A place where there is no pain and sadness. A place where he can play Lacrosse and Hockey while our mom looks on smiling because they have finally been reunited.