I remember when you were born. A tiny pink bundle of baby with no hair, but soft peach fuzz on the top of your perfectly round head. I sat in the rocking chair at the hospital and held you, looking down at your face and trying to decide if you looked like me. Mom and Dad smiled, someone took pictures. My heart swelled with pride as my little sister fell asleep in my arms.

I remember when you climbed up on the roof in Nantucket. He told you it was fine and you were little so you listened to him. I can still feel the panic in my chest as I stood on the little deck, looking up at you perched on the point of a window. I don’t remember if you were scared. I think you were. But I was more scared. Because I could not stand the thought of you falling. You got down safely, and a lock was installed on the deck door. Higher than you could reach.

I remember you in dance recitals. I loved that people compared you to me as a dancer. It made me proud. And when the Irish lullaby began to play and you danced across the stage in stockinged feet, I teared up. Your long hair whipped around and you looked like a little woodland sprite.

I remember you in orchestra concerts. Your face so serious as you played the cello. I sat in the audience remembering my time on that very stage and at the same time, being so impressed that you could play that instrument. While the violin came easily to me, the cello was something I always wished I could pick up.

I remember your laughter. You could always crack me up like no one else. Your sense of humor so sarcastic, so unique. As we grew up we became very different people. You dressed in Hot Topic, me in J Crew. While I sang along to Brittney, you belted out classic rock. My feet were adorned in pointy stilettos, yours in clunky boots with buckles. But whatever our differences, you could always make me laugh.

I remember when your laughter stopped. When depression and anger got in the way. When the wrong crowd and the wrong behavior drove a wedge between you and us. I remember the fights, the tears and the defeat. I remember thinking it would never get better.

And then it did. I remember the day you got into college. You were standing in my kitchen when we got the call. A smile burst across my face and wouldn’t go away for days. Despite it all, you had been given a chance.

I remember you at Family Weekend. So happy, so vibrant. You told me how it was the best decision you ever made, how you were so lucky to get this chance.

And I remember the phone call from Mom. I remember her words–not happy. Failing classes. Wants to drop out. I got angry. I sent you an email full of rage when you wouldn’t answer your phone, then apologized on your voicemail later. I feel angry, disappointed, bewildered and betrayed. I want to shake some sense into you and at the same time, hold you and let you cry.

Let me help you. Let us help you. We love you and we want you to figure out what’s right.

Please call.