Dear Marlene,

Happy birthday mija! I’m missing you real bad today. Like most days.

I find myself over here contemplating what we might’ve done for your 28th born day, today. I wonder how many, if any, children you would have by now. Would we have to do some day festivities with the kids and then look for a sitter so we could have “adult fun” by night? Or nah? You know I wouldn’t be able to drink cuz of my new prego situation (=D) but it’s all good. ¡Ya tu‘ sabe! You already know we would still have a blast!  

Kids or no kids, I know ya figure and beautiful face would be as impeccable as ever! Even though you still would have no booty, chile. Haha! We woulda been out to the salons half the day. And of course, we gotta parade our signature color, Red! Red errthing! Like twins from another nationality, momma and daddy. Lol. Damn girl! I miss your laugh so much! It was and always will be music to my heart. Living on, forever inside of me.

You know, I’ve healed a lot in the past 3 years. I no longer carry anger, confusion or remorse for all that was lost when you took your last breath 13 years ago. I just reminisce. As much as it sucks that the world didn’t get to enjoy the Marlene Santiago experience, it is what it is. Shit happens. Life ain’t fair most of the time. By God’s glorious grace, I got the Marlene Santiago experience! Front and center. And that’s beyond a blessing.

So, these days, I tend to just sit back and reminisce. With the most humble gratitude possible. I knew you. I know you. I feel you! Everywhere and everyday. And I live on for the both of us. To tell our stories. What an honor Ms. Santiago! What an honor!

I feel better now. So much better. You always know the trick to soothe my aching heart. I suppose I feel good and strong enough to end this letter. Particularly with joy and love in my heart. As opposed to the sadness that caked the corners of my insides when I first started this letter.

I wish I had some money right now (surprisingly enough). So, I could go out and celebrate for you. But everything is done all in due time. I’m sure we’ll be turning up down here and up there, soon enough. I love you forever and a day, beautiful Princess! 

From Down Below, 

Your One & Only Shaquana ❤