This diary entry is part 28 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

It doesn’t feel like five months since I started writing this, does it?  So much has happened!  I went to Disney World!  I learned who my birth mother is!  I was adopted!  I learned my birthday!  I got a boyfriend!  I even learned I’m half Japanese!  And yeah, some money fell in my lap too, oh well.

And this site has changed a bit too!  I used to be more of a silly billy!  I added a page for my friends and family (I still have to update it with all of my new information), I even added subscriptions so I can say things for young adults that children shouldn’t hear!  I did all sorts of fun stuff!  In fact, I’m taking over all of the technical stuff so my tech friend doesn’t have to maintain it anymore!  That was so nice of him, wasn’t it?  But I asked for control and I’ll pay for it now too.  Everyone thank my tech friend!

My family has changed too!  I started out as just me (well, Dave and Sabby and crew were my foster parents, but I still didn’t really have a family).  But then they adopted me, and Beth became my sister in not just name, and I met Allison and Crystal and Emiko and my half sisters Aika and Mika, and Jack, and his little sister Grace (I love her!) and Jack’s parents, and Liz and her parents too!  Soooo much family!  I’m a lot of things, but I’m not lonely!  All of my family loves me and I love them too!  And there’s always room for more family!

And you’re my family too!  You’ve been reading about my life, and follow me, and want to know how I’m doing, and I love that!  You started seeing how sad I was, and you watched me be soooo happy and soooo sad and soooo heartbroken and sooooo in love, you watched all that stuff happen and you cheered for me when good stuff happened and were sad for me when bad stuff happened.  How could I not love that?  So I have one, or two, or ten, or a hundred, or a thousand silly billies who are my family too that I’ve never met!

What a way to bring in the new year!

I don’t really have any resolutions for the new year.  What would I resolve?  I have everything I want!  I could resolve to learn to drive, but I was going to do that anyway,  I could resolve to learn piano, but I was going to do that anyway. I could resolve to learn Japanese, but I was going to do that anyway.

I take it back, I think I have one resolution.  I want people to find out about me!  I want more people to come to this site, and read about me, and maybe subscribe and read some of my posts.  I want to make this site better, and add things to it, so you like to come here and read about me!  I want my life to keep being interesting (but not bad) for next year!

If you’re reading this, and you really like this site, and me, you can help by telling your friends!  Tell people that you know this cute, smart, modest sixteen year old girl who lost all her memories and is trying to find them again!  Tell them how awesome me and my family are!  Then maybe they’ll get to know me and love me too, and I’ll have more family!

If you don’t I’ll call you a silly billy and pout at you!  You don’t want me to pout at you, do you?  My pouts are weapons grade!  Sabby has a hard time standing up to one of my pouts!  And then I won’t just pout, I’ll sniffle!  I’ll look at you with a tiny voice and say “don’t you wove me, Internet person?  Don’t you wove me?”  And I’ll shuffle my feet, and you’ll melt, and…  and that’s manipulative, so I won’t.  But I’ll want to!

But you’ll still be a silly billy.  But I’ll love you anyway.  You’re still my family.

We’re not going to do anything special for New Years.  We might stay up, do the countdown, blow on a noisemaker, have some chocolate, and go to sleep.  Sounds like an evening.  I know I’d be kissing Jack if he were here, but maybe it’s better he’s not.  I got enough hooting and “woooooooo”s last week.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 25 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

There is subscriber specific content in this post.  As usual, it isn’t necessary to the story.

Let me say it right now.  Sabby was right.  I don’t know why I doubt her.  She was right.  She’s always right and it annoys the snot out of me sometimes.

So as you can see by the topic above, Christmas was today.  I guess that’s pretty obvious, right?  December 25?  Christmas?  Yay me?

We got up early because David couldn’t wait, and we sat around the tree in our pajamas and opened presents.  I got Beth a new makeup kit and hairbrush, which she seemed to appreciate.  David got a new game, which of course he liked.  I made sure to check with Sabby about what kind of game to get him, though, and it couldn’t be too expensive, it’s not like I had infinite money to play with.  I got Dave a grilling set, which he loved!  And Sabby… well… it’s so hard to shop for her.  The letter worked so well for her birthday but that’s kind of a one shot thing.  I bought her a sterling silver charm bracelet, and put all sorts of charms on it that showed her what she meant to me.  I put a heart, a charm that said “mom”, and a very pretty translucent glass charm on it.  She loved it.

“Mom?”, she said, with hope in her eyes.  The symbolism of that word wasn’t lost on her.  I just nodded.  She launched herself at me and we hugged it out.

“Does that mean I get to be Dad?,” Dave said.  I giggled.  “Hit me with your best dad joke and we’ll think about it,” I said.  He laughed.  “Of course!,” I said, and hugged him too.

But they got me stuff too!  Dave and Sabby got me the piano, so I didn’t expect anything else from them!  But they got me lessons too!  I’ll be working with a teacher!  I guess that’s part of schooling but still nice!  Beth got me a very pretty necklace that said “Lily” on it, and of course I hugged her.  David had help yet again, I know he did, because he got me some assorted bangles and hair clips.  He got a hug too, whether he wanted it or not.  True, I don’t usually wear bangles, but the kid thought of what I’d like rather than what he’d like, so credit where credit’s due.  I put a couple on.

After everyone else exchanged presents, we had a big breakfast – Sabby had been cooking some more.  She cooked and she cooked till her cooker was sore!  We had pancakes and eggs and toast and all sorts of yummy stuff.  Even chocolate syrup!  After breakfast we cleaned up all the wrapping, and there was a knock on the door!

It was Grace, with her parents!

She hugged me!  She loved her present!  It was just a toy from the convenience store but she was holding it sooo proudly.  “Thankth, Auntie Lily!”, she said, and she handed me something too.  It was just a piece of paper with a child’s drawing of her and “Auntie Lily” on it, with a heart and a smiling yellow sun, but it was perfect!  I thanked her, of course, and immediately put it on the fridge.  She went back to Liz’s house with her parents, but I think my heart grew three sizes!

Anyway, Dave and David turned on the TV to watch some parade or something.

Sabby grabbed lots of paper plates (yeah, yeah) and put cookies and brownies and treats and all sorts of stuff on them, covered them with cling wrap, and she and I trekked over to Liz’s house wearing Santa hats.  “Merry Christmas!,” we yelled, and Liz’s mother looked surprised. 

“You didn’t have to -“

“I made way, way more than we could eat,  Here, we have snickerdoodles, and sugar cookies, and brownies, and, oh!  I read that you have something in Ohio called buckeyes!  I made some of those too!,” Sabby said cheerfully as she handed the plates off.

“I want a buckeye!  I want a buckeye!”, Grace said excitedly.

“Well, thank you, and Merry Christmas to you too,” Liz’s mother said happily.

I handed Liz her present (and after yesterday, I need to get her back!) and she gave me a hug.  I got her a set of fancy chopsticks.  She loved them.

I waved at Jack, and he waved back.  As we were leaving, Grace was already tearing into the buckeyes.  Oh, that poor family once the sugar hit…

Anyway, I don’t know how to describe the rest of the day.  It was just a lovely Christmas.  Dave and David watched a football game, Sabby made a huge dinner with turkey and all of the good stuff, while Beth and I sat at the kitchen table, ate cookies, drank juice, and just chatted about everything and nothing.  We had a huge dinner, and after, we watched a Christmas movie.  Dave wanted “Die Hard”, but Sabby vetoed that, and we watched Home Alone instead.  What a silly movie!

Christmas is amazing.  The day starts out so quiet, and throughout the day, everything slowly wakes up – children pop out of their houses playing with their new toys, traffic on the freeway starts to get louder again, and the world starts up.  But for that few hours, that few wonderful hours when everyone wakes up, the whole country, the whole world, is quiet, celebrating everything that’s important to them.

Tomorrow is back to normal.  Jack and I are going to spend the evening together after I get off work.  They leave a couple of days from now.  I’ll miss Jack.  But I won’t be heartbroken like last time.  We’ll see each other again.  Now I know it.  We’ll see each other again.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 23 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

A very thoughtful Lily today, truthfully.

Jack was spending time with his family today.  I guess they wanted to visit the LBJ library downtown or some such.

Sabby took me aside this morning for a heart to heart.  I love when she does that, but I hate when she does that, too.  She had several things on her mind.

“Lily,” she said, “I don’t know where that trust came from.  You don’t get it until you’re 18, so, it’s really none of my business.  By the time you get access to it, you’ll be an adult and able to make your own decisions.” She paused, seemingly uncertain of what she wanted to say.  “I’m your adopted mother, Lily.  And Dave is your adopted father.  When we took you in and adopted you, we promised to take care of your needs.  I don’t want to ever, ever hear you say, to anyone, that you’ll give them one red cent of that money.  Including us.  Do you understand?”

“Sabby -”

“NO!,” she said, raising her voice.  “Promise me.”

“But what if -“

She sighed and put up her hand.  “What if we need it, what if this, what if that.  One what if turns into another what if and before you know it you have no money.  I don’t want that for you, Lily!  You’re a generous young woman, and I can’t fault you for that, but you’d give it all away.  I know you would, Lily.  I know you.  Don’t.”

“Even Jack?”

“Even Jack.  Especially Jack.  He doesn’t seem interested in it, and doesn’t seem the type of boy who cares about that kind of thing too much, but until you get married, it’s yours.  He’s not your responsibility.  He’s his parents’ responsibility, then he’s his own.  And if you marry him – and don’t you dare do that on your eighteenth birthday – then that’s a different story.  But not until then.  Let him make his own way.  Do you understand, Lily?”

I lowered my head.  “Perfectly.”

She sighed.  “I worry about you, Lily.  you’re so… guileless.”

“Guileless?  What does that mean?”


“I trust the people I love.”

“You love easily.  I love that about you, Lily.  But I worry about that, about you, too.”

I sighed.  “I promise.  I seem to be making a lot of promises lately.”

“I don’t ask you to promise anything that isn’t important.  Now there’s another thing.  I want you here for present opening.”

“Can I invite Jack?”

“You can invite him, but he has his own family, you know.  I imagine they’ll want him to spend Christmas with them.”

I frowned.  This wasn’t how I imagined things.  I’d imagined him and me and everyone around a tree and opening presents…

“Why are you keeping him away?”

“You’re sixteen!”, she said.  “I know you said yes and he’s your boyfriend but you have a family and so does he!  I’m sorry, Lily, but I want this memory with you.  You’ll be eighteen sooner than I’d like, and I have so few memories with you, and…  don’t take this from me.”

“Don’t take this from you?  What about from me?  Don’t I get a memory too?  I’m with you every day, Sabby!  I don’t know when he’ll be back.  Why are you taking this from me?”

She sighed.  “I was afraid of this,” she said sadly.  “You’re starting to build your own family.  Which I support – but you’re my family too.  Is Jack more important to you than me?”

I lowered my head.  In truth, the answer was no.  And yes.  They’re both important to me in different ways.  I love Sabby.  She’s my adopted mother, my protector, my confidant, my rock.  And I love Jack too – he’s my desire, my love, my future.  Maybe someday we’ll be married, and I’ll have his children, and Sabby…  Sabby will still be there.

“I love you both,” I said.  “I don’t want to choose.”

“I’m not asking you to choose,” she said.  “I’m just asking you to spend Christmas with your family.”

“I have a big family,” I said.

She threw up her hands.  “Fine.  Do what you want”.  She stomped upstairs and slammed her door.

I sat there and put my head in my hands.  It’d been only one day and it was already getting tough.

There was, right then, a knock at the door, I went to get it and it was the UPS driver.  He gave me a package and went back to his truck.

It was addressed to me.

I opened the package, and pulled out a beautiful silk kimono.  It was the color of sakura petals, and had all the traditional pieces.  There was a note.  It said “I think this will fit you better than it ever fit me.  It belonged to my mother and I think as my firstborn this should be yours.  メーリクリスマス”, and it was signed Emiko.

I have a big family.  And I don’t know what to do.  I love Sabby.  But my family is so much bigger than just her.  I have Dave, and Sabby, and my family, and Jack, and his family, and Liz, and her family, and now Emiko, and her family, and… and…  and how am I supposed to keep everyone happy?  How am I supposed to… oh.  This is what she meant.  About the money.  Right?

I texted Jack.

Jack, Sabby wants me to spend Christmas with her and the family.

I understand.

I wish I could spend it with you.

We’ll have many more Christmases together, Lily.  I hope, anyway.  It will be fine.  We’ll spend the day after together, okay?  I’ll leave soon after that anyway and I’ve already told my family I want one more day with you.”

Okay.  I’d love that.  How will I get you your present?

I’ll come over tomorrow afternoon and we can exchange presents then.

Okay.  I’m sorry.

Don’t be sorry.  Family is important.  I hope you remembered something for Grace.


It’s alright.  She’s four.  If you get her a little toy from the convenience store, she’ll love it.

Convenience store.  Ah. There was something else there that might help.

I love you.

I love you too, Lily.  See you tomorrow.

I walked down to the convenience store, said hi to the owner, and got Grace a little toy to play with.  And I got two chocolate milkshakes.  I walked home thoughtfully, went upstairs, and knocked on Sabby’s door.  No answer.

“I have a milkshake,” I said.

The door opened.  She’d been crying.  Crap.

“I’m sorry, Sabby,” I said, and handed her her milkshake.  She accepted it.

“You don’t need me,” she replied, and sniffled.

“Of course I do,” I said.  “Oh Sabby, I’ll always need you.  Even when I’m married and have kids of my own and… and…  I’ll never not need you.” I sniffled.  “I talked to Jack.  He’ll come over tomorrow and we’ll exchange presents then.”

She sighed.  “I know I’m not being fair.  But I don’t want to lose you.”

“You’ll never lose me, Sabby.  Never ever.  I have a big family, but it just added on to what I already had.  You’ll always be the one who held me that day when I didn’t even know who I was.”  I paused.  “I know who I am now.”  I lowered my head.  “I’m Sabby’s daughter.”  Her lower lip trembled.  “Sabby is my mother.”

“What about -“

“She sent me a very nice present.  It’s a very beautiful kimono.  I will wear it proudly and happily, because I am half Japanese.  But she gave me up.  She didn’t hold me when I was crying,” I sniffled, “or take me shopping, or give me a house, or…  or….”  I just flung my arms around her.  “I forgive her, but you’re my mother.”

“I’m sorry, Lily.”

“I’m sorry too, Sabby.  Want to help me wrap Grace’s present?”

“What did you get her?”

“A toy from the convenience store.  It’ll last a week.”

“She’s four.  That’s a perfect gift.  She’ll love it.”

After we finished all the present wrapping and our milkshakes, Sabby went out to go shopping for Christmas dinner.  I spent a little time with Beth.  She was a little jealous of the money, but I asked her if she seriously wanted to trade all of what I had to go through to get it, because I’d make that trade.  She thought about it, and then shrugged.  “You earned it,” she said.   And we got out a board game.

I hate it when Sabby and I fight.  But I guess that’s what families do.

I really appreciate the gift Emiko sent.  Truly I do.  I was surprised to receive a gift, and such a beautiful one too.  Maybe she just wants to remind me of my heritage.  And yes, I am half Japanese, and yes, I want to get to know my birth mother better.  But my heritage is Sabby and Dave.  They will always be my real parents.

Love you all!!! ❤

This diary entry is part 6 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I’m kind of a weird combination of happy and sad today.

Yesterday was sooo good.  There wasn’t one thing that I could point to as wonderful, but it was a bunch of little wonderful things that all came together to make it a great day!  I love my family!  All of them!  Even the ones that don’t think I’m their family!  They’re all the best!

But then I heard on the news about a boy who did some very bad things up in Michigan.  I don’t pay a lot of attention to the news because it makes me sad, but he was about my age.  What makes a boy do things like that?  I heard that his parents failed him, the school failed him, everyone failed him.  Some people are like that.  Some parents don’t care and are selfish, some school teachers and principals don’t care either, and a boy slips through the cracks, and, well, people die.

I said yesterday that I’m lucky, and I’m soooo lucky.  I have so many people that are on my side.  Even when Sabby and I are fighting, Dave will step in and try to make it all better.  And when I have things inside me that I can’t get out, someone steps in and hugs me or makes me talk about it and i can get it out.  But what about those people, like that boy, who don’t have that?  Who hugs them and tells them it will be better?   Who gives them a shoulder to cry it out on?  No one, I guess.  And that breaks my heart.

Sabby tells me that the world is broken, and I believe her.  But we can’t fix the world.  You or I or anyone else can’t fix the world, or solve all of the problems, and people who think they can just hurt themselves because they can’t.  But we can make our little parts of the world better.  We can hug each other and let each other cry and tell each other that we love them, and every time we do that, we take the brokenness and heal just a little bit of it.  What would have happened in Michigan if that boy had had people like that in his life when he needed them?

So we sat in front of the tree, tonight, after school.  We sat in front of the tree and looked at how pretty it was, and we played games, and popped popcorn, and ate chocolate, and if everyone did that, then maybe the world would be a little better place, dontcha think?

I’m a little peeved at Jack.  Silly boy won’t give me a hint as to my present!  I have to think of what to give him, too.  What do you get a boy who stole your heart and won’t give it back?  Maybe I’ll make him a heart cozy so he’ll have a place to keep it OMG that was the sappiest thing I’ve ever said in my life!

He promises, though, that I will absolutely love it.  And I trust him.  So let’s see what the silly billy did!

Oh.  Emiko wants to come over Friday night, and bring her family too.  I hope that turns out well!

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 5 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 06 - December 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

I’m gonna cry.  I’m seriously gonna cry.  But this time not out of sadness.  I’m sooo happy.

So today I did my run and went to work, and the owner asked me how it went.  I told him that I met her, and she was really regretful, and I forgave her.  He patted me on the back and said “good girl”.  Then he paused.  “In India, family is very important.  We have big families.  Mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents…  sometimes all under one roof.  Many people are poor and don’t have much.  But they are rich.  You are rich.  You have your family, and now your birth mother and your half sisters, and your boyfriend -” I started to protest but he smirked.  “You just don’t know it yet.  You have a big family, like in India.  A big family is a blessing.  Don’t forget.  You lost much, yes, yes, very much, but you gained much too.”  He smiled.  “Business is good.  Better than last year.  My wife and I, we want to do something nice for our employees.”  He rummaged around his desk and handed me an envelope.  “Don’t open it until you get home.  Very important.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”

I protested.  “Aren’t you a Hindu?”

“Yes,” he said, smiling.  “But you’re not.  And isn’t that respect?”

I had no response to that.  I just sniffed and impulsively hugged him.  He patted my back.  “Back to work, kiddo.  You have, how do you say it, doot dooting to do.”

I frowned.  “I didn’t get you anything.”

“You’re sixteen, Lily.  You don’t have much to give.  I own a convenience store.  I have a lot to give.  That hug was gift enough.  Now shoo.”

I did.  Oh my God.  How nice is he.  I won the job lottery.

After I got home, I opened the envelope.  It was a bonus.  A huge bonus.  Even Dave and Sabby were taken aback by how much it was, at least in comparison to my hourly wage.  I could afford to get driving lessons now and start paying my insurance!!!  He is soo nice!  I have to make him and his wife a thank you card!!!

When I got home, there was a tree on top of the car.  “Oh there you are,” Dave said.  “help us get this inside.”  Liz was there too, I guess her family doesn’t really make a big deal out of Christmas and Sabby thought she’d enjoy it.

So we got the tree inside and put it in its stand.  Sabby went to the attic and got out all the ornaments and tinsel, and we started decorating the tree.  When we were done, it was all lit up and soooo pretty!  Everyone had their own special ornament that they put up.  Sabby got a box and handed it to me.  I opened it, and there was an ornament!  My very own ornament!  With my name on it!  Lily!  She must have had it done recently, because it also said “Yuriko”.

OMG!!!  I put the ornament on the tree and everyone hugged me!  Even David!

I’m a Smith!  I’m actually a real Smith!!!

And Liz got an ornament too!  She was soooo happy!  Maybe she’s not a Smith, but she’s an honorary Smith!  Just like I’m an honorary Tang!

After that, Dave got a ladder and put up the Christmas lights.  He can be a bit clumsy so we all stood outside ready to catch him, but everything went fine.  After the sun went down, we turned the lights on, and it was soo pretty!  Christmas is so pretty!  With all the lights and songs and… and family!

Oh oh oh and Jack said he had a present for me too, but I would get it around Christmastime!  I wonder what it is!  He wouldn’t say.  He wouldn’t even give me a hint!  He did promise it would be big and I would really love it!  What could it be???

The owner was right!  I have such a big family now!  I have Dave, and Sabby, and Beth, and David, and Cat, and Liz, and her parents, and Emiko, and my new half sisters, and Jack, and Grace, and even the owner, and OMG how lucky am I?  I’m gonna cry!  I’m seriously gonna cry!!!

And I have you all too!!!  Allison and everyone else who reads this and follows my life and loves me!!!  Even with the roller coaster of the last couple of weeks, how lucky I am!!!

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 10 of 32 in Lily's diary dated 05 - November 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

Sabby gave me the day off from school today.  She told me that I’m so happy and cheerful most of the time, and she forgets that I have my own… demons, is how she put it, and that sometimes they might come out and we all just have to deal with them.  She explained that her demons are her feelings of inadequacy, Dave’s demons are his temper, Beth’s demons are her jealousy, and my demons are my… loneliness.  She thinks that’s what it is, anyway.  I don’t know if it’s the right word, but it doesn’t matter.

I didn’t sleep well last night.  Usually I sleep like a baby (whatever that means) but last night I was just tossing and turning and had fitful dreams of things that were just on the edge of my consciousness and not breaking through.  That’s the worst feeling, waking up and knowing something was important but not remembering it at all.  I finally padded into the kitchen to find some chocolate, and Sabby was there, sitting at the table in her nightgown, with tears in her eyes.

I found two things of pudding and got two spoons and set one down in front of her.  She peeled the lid off of hers, but just kind of stirred it around.  She didn’t really seem to want to eat it.

I peeled the lid off of mine and took a bite or two, but honestly, I wasn’t too hungry either.  And it was chocolate!

She sighed, fiddling with her spoon. 

“I forget sometimes,” she said quietly.  I was quiet.  “I forget how much it hurts to not have your parents.  I’ve had many years to come to terms with it.  You’ve had a year.  Or more.  Or less.  Who knows.”

“How did you cope with it?,” I asked softly.

She chuckled darkly, still fiddling with her spoon.  “I didn’t.  Not for the longest time.  I was… a wild child.  I did everything a girl wasn’t supposed to do.  Drinking…  other stuff…”  She sighed.  “Anything to take the pain away, even for a little bit.”

“Did it work?”

“No,” she said bitterly.  “It never worked.  It was never anything but a distraction.  I had a hole in my heart that no one could fill.  What’s a girl to do?  People came into my life, and left, and came, and left, and the only constant was the loss…  the pain…”

I was quiet.  There wasn’t much I could add.  But I understood.

“Eventually,” she said, “I was confronted with a choice.  I could keep wishing for what I would never have, or I could move forward with my life and make the best of it.  I think it’s worse for you,” she looked down, “because you don’t know.  They might be out there.  They might not.  But I knew where they were.  My foster parents took me to their graves every year.”

“Were they nice?”

“They were,” she said.  “They were my rock.  When I was being wild, and out of control… they never gave up on me.  I always had a place to stay, I always had arms to go back to…. even when I made mistakes and got in trouble and sometimes didn’t even know what day it was.”

“So what do I do?,” I asked.  I took a bite of the pudding.  It wasn’t as good as it usually is.

She shrugged.  “No idea.  Maybe don’t focus on what you don’t have, but what you do.”  She stirred her pudding some more.  “I didn’t understand my foster parents before.  I didn’t know why they kept putting up with me.  I expected them to kick me out every time I came home drunk.  But… they didn’t.”  Her lower lip trembled.  “I understand now,” she said.  “They loved me .  I didn’t understand.  But they did.”

I stared at my pudding.

“And now I do.”  She reached over and grabbed my hands in hers, and squeezed tightly.  “I… we… can’t replace them.  We’d never try.  We’ll never be them.  But we love you just the same.  Don’t lose sight of that.”

I nodded.  She stood up and went back to her room.  Her pudding sat on the table, untouched.

I picked up both the puddings and put them in the trash.  I went back to my room and stared at the wall until I finally fell asleep.

The next morning I came to breakfast, bleary-eyed.  As I mentioned, she told me that today was a free day for me.  I could do whatever I wanted.  I could sleep all day, I could watch YouTube, I could just stare at a wall.  And she apologized for showing me that song.  It was too much, even though she didn’t realize it at the time.  I just nodded and walked out onto the patio.  It was a beautiful day, the temperature was just right, the air smelled good, and the birds would have been singing if most of them hadn’t already flown south.

I thought for a moment, and stood up, and walked back to my room.  I put the song back on YouTube, and I listened.

Somewhere out there, if love can see us through

We’ll find one another, somewhere out there, out where dreams come true…

Mom, dad…  I’ll find you.  Someday, I’ll find you.  I’ll find me.  But until then… I have Dave and Sabby and Beth and David and Liz.  And they’ll be my family.  Somewhere out there, out where dreams come true.

This diary entry is part 2 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 02 - August 2021

Hi!  It’s me!  Lily!

So yesterday we went to church.  People are all concerned about that variant of the virus that’s going around.  It just doesn’t seem to be going away!  But we’re all vaccinated, and we’ve done everything we can do.  Sabby thinks we need to just live our lives normally.  I don’t know how I feel, but I trust her.  Beth and David aren’t old enough to be vaccinated yet, but so far so good.

In my state the governor has said no more mask mandates.  I don’t mind wearing a mask, but it’s uncomfortable in the hot weather, so I wear one if I need to.  But I’m glad he left it up to us.  I see what’s happening in other states and I’m glad I was found in the one I do.  Even if it’s hot sometimes.

This is all normal to me!  I was found last year in the middle of the “first wave”, and everyone wore masks and social distanced, and I have no memories before, so I don’t know any different.  Sabby tells me about how things were before, and it sounds so gross!  People should at least wear masks if they’re actually sick and sneezing and coughing!

But I don’t want to talk about that.  People get angry for some reason.

After church Dave and Sabby proclaimed that we were going to have a family afternoon.  Beth and David grumbled a bit – I think Beth wanted to go see her friends, and David just grumbles all the time anyway, but they were firm.  I don’t mind!  I like family afternoons!  I like family! They asked us what we wanted to do, and the kids were sullen about it, so I suggested we go to the local game place.   They thought about it, but said no, because David would just run off, and Beth would tell her friends where we are, and that wouldn’t be family, would it?

I thought it would be fun, but after thinking about it, They were right!  They are wise!  Or they know their kids.

Beth had had enough at that point and stomped upstairs, she wanted to see her friends!  David was antsy, he wanted to play on the computer.  Dave and Sabby were not happy with either of them, and it turned into a bit of a row with yelling and stomping and slamming doors.  David ended up grounded from all electronics, and Beth can’t see her friends for a week.

After it all calmed down, it was just me and Dave and Sabby in the living room.  Beth and David were both in their rooms sulking.  They’d come down eventually.

After an awkward silence, I cracked a joke.  “I guess fighting is doing something as a family?”

Dave didn’t seem too pleased with that, but Sabby smirked.  Dave knew he was outnumbered.

“Why don’t we play a game?,” Sabby said.  So we got out a board game.  We started playing.  Dave isn’t all that great with board games, but Sabby’s pretty good.  About halfway through, David and Beth came down and wanted to join.  We finished out the game, and then they joined us in the next one.

Before we knew it, it was dinnertime.  Beth and David had their sentences commuted to time served, and Sabby made dinner.  Did I tell you she’s an excellent cook?  She is!  I love her cooking.

I love being part of a family.  Even the bad parts.

When it was time for bed, Beth and I brushed each others’ hair.  It is so nice to have your hair brushed.  We talked about things until our eyes started to droop, and then we went to bed.  I think I would miss having a sister.  I love her already.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 1 of 30 in Lily's diary dated 02 - August 2021

Hi!  It’s me again!  Lily!  She of the many exclamation points!

So of course it can’t be as easy as just saying “we’re sisters now”.  After I wrote the post, I took a shower, and when I got out Beth was waiting for me.  She grabbed my hand and pulled me to her room.  We sat down next to each other on her bed.  I’d never really seen her bedroom before – it looked very much like you would imagine a fourteen year old girl’s bedroom would look.  It had a surprising amount of books, though.  I didn’t know she was that studious.

She looked nervous, though.

“Umm,” she said quietly.  “About last night…”

I just looked at her confused.

“I’ve been mean to you.  I’m sorry.  But you didn’t say you forgave me.  You didn’t say anything at all.  I….” she looked down.  “I won’t blame you if you don’t.  I won’t blame you if… you don’t want to be my sister.”

I was quiet for a while.  Many things were running through my head.  A part of me did resent her a bit for how she treated me.  But a part of me knew that I had come into their family and just blew everything into little tiny pieces.

Finally I thought I had the right words.

“You were mean to me,” I said.  “Very mean.  You said things to me that you can’t take back easily.”

She lowered her eyes.

“I understand,” she said quietly.

“No, you don’t,” I said.  “Because I just came into your life and family and ruined it.”

“You didn’t ruin it!”

“But you thought I did!”, I said, a little forcefully.  “Me, a strange girl, taking all of the attention from your mom.  You had every right to feel how you did.”

“But -”

“Let me finish,” I said.  “You had every right, but you hurt me.  Your words hurt.  Especially at such an awful time for me.”  I went quiet for a while.  “But you were young.”

Neither of us trusted ourselves to speak.

“Do you really want me as your sister?”, I said quietly.  “Not just anyone, but… me?”

She bit her lower lip.  It was strangely cute.  It was something she did when she was thinking.  I could see the woman that was trying to come out in her still childlike face.  Truly a woman-child.

“It’s true I’ve always wanted a sister,” she said.  “But I like you.  You’re a nice person.  And even though I was mean to you, you’ve never treated me badly.  I think you’d make a good sister.  If you’ll have me.  I understand if -“

I launched over and took her in my arms.  She went quiet and wrapped her arms around me as well.  It was a touching moment, and a tear was threatening in my eye.  “I forgive you,” I said.  “Life’s too short to hold a grudge.”

I felt her shaking.  She was crying!  I put my hand on her head and stroked her hair.  “Ssssh,” I said quietly.  “It’s alright.”  I chuckled.  “God knows I’ve done enough crying lately.”

I heard her chuckle in between sobs.  We released each other and I saw her face.  I cupped her cheek with my hand and wiped a tear away with my thumb.  “Sister,” I said, quietly.

“Sister,” she said, just as quietly.  “Thank you.”

“So what do we do now?”, I said.  “I’ve never had a sister.”

“Me neither,” she said, softly.  “Will you braid my hair?”

“I don’t know how,” I said.

“I’ll teach you,” she said.  “It’s easy.”

Well, it wasn’t easy.  But we don’t braid each others’ hair because our hair needs to be braided.  She told me all about her life, and I told her about how I felt the last year – leaving her out of it, of course.  I was really curious about what it was like to actually remember your childhood, and she was happy to tell me.  Finally, her hair inexpertly braided, she hugged me, and went off to meet her friends.  Girls gonna girl, of course.

I went downstairs, and Sabby was sitting at the table.

“Everything OK?,” she asked.

I smiled.  “Everything’s fine,” I said.  “I was just spending time with Beth.”

Sabby looked so happy.  “I’m so glad you two are getting along now.”

“I don’t really know how to be a sister,” I said, softly.

“You’ll pick it up,” Sabby said.

I think she’s right.  I really think she’s right.

The rest of the day was quiet.  I spent some time with Liz, but she had some classes to take, so I just busied myself on my computer for the rest of the day.  Maybe it wasn’t the most productive day.  But that’s alright.  Some days are like that.  Some days are perfect just as they are.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 10 of 11 in Lily's diary dated 01 - July 2021

Hi!  It’s me, Lily!

Sabby saw my post yesterday.  I forgot about that.  I guess that’s one of the problems with having a public diary.  but it’s okay.  I guess if I truly didn’t want them to know, I wouldn’t have said (or typed) it out loud.

After I wrote that post, I took a shower, got back in my pajamas, and went back to bed.  I never go back to bed, but there’s nothing else I really wanted to do.  A half hour later, Sabby knocked on my door and came in.

I had the blankets pulled up to my chin, and she didn’t say anything.  She sat down on the side of my bed and scooped me up into her arms.  I couldn’t help it.  I cried it out.  I think I spent like fifteen minutes just blubbering like a baby.  It would have been embarrassing if it didn’t feel so good.  Crying feels good, you know.  It’s like you take all of your awful feelings and hurts and pains and just let them out, and everything’s so much clearer afterwards.

I don’t know what I would do without Sabby.  I think she’s my second best friend.  Or maybe my co-best friend.  Liz would have been uncomfortable.  Sabby wasn’t.  Don’t worry, Liz!  I love you too!  But you can’t fill the same role Sabby does, and I would never ask you.  I never asked her to, either.  But she does.

She doesn’t understand.  She knows she doesn’t.  She can only guess what it’s like to be me, and probably not well, either.  She doesn’t know what it’s like to have your entire life be nothing but a blank.  But she was there.  She held me, and let me cry.  That really counts for a lot, y’know?  I love her, and she loves me.

I guess all I can do is try to make the best life I can out of what I have, and hope someday that I find answers.

Anyway, Sabby gave me a kiss on the forehead, and told me I could stay in bed for a little longer, but she wanted to take me somewhere.  I asked her where, and she said she didn’t care.  She said that if I don’t have memories, we were going to make some together.

I know I said I loved Lily Day.  I loved the presents, I loved the pancakes, I loved the waterpark.  But you’ll never know how precious that gift is, the one of memories.  Far more precious than anything anyone’s ever given me – that I can remember, anyway.  Those of you who have good memories, I envy you so much.  And those who have bad memories, I kind of envy you too.  Not the memories, but the fact that you have them.  They did shape you, right?  They may be bad, but they’re yours.  I’d even take bad memories over none at all.  I know, I might feel differently otherwise, but it’s how I feel, and I get to feel how I feel!

Sabby took me to a Korean food place, just the two of us.  We ate Korean BBQ and had boba tea, and we talked about a lot of different things.  I actually don’t remember what we talked about.  But I’ll never forget that we went.  I’ll never, ever forget that we went.

I did tell Sabby that I was thinking about learning Japanese, and she’s all for it.  She thinks Spanish might be more useful, but I said they already teach that in school.  I told Liz later, and she asked why not Chinese?  I didn’t really have an answer.  Maybe Japanese is more interesting.  But I told her if she wants to try to teach me some Chinese, she’s welcome to.  I’m a little nervous about how enthusiastic she was about that idea.  They’re both hard languages.

Later that night, at dinner, I looked around the table at everyone.  I looked at Dave, such a silly, gentle, kind, middle-aged, balding man.  I saw Sabby, a pretty, older woman showing her age but carrying it well.  I saw Beth, a young girl who is just learning what it means to be a woman, and I saw David, a little hellian who I’m sure will grow up to be a decent man.  I even saw the cat sitting on the floor washing its butt.  And I ate some of the delicious food Sabby prepared, and I couldn’t help but smile.  I had a tear in my eye, but I smiled too.

I saw my family.

Yes, these are my new memories.  This is my home now.

And you all are my family too!

See you tomorrow!  Love you all!!!!  ❤️