She was only fifteen.
I know it doesn't mean much but I'm sorry. If only id been able to accept you, then maybe you'd still be here. The couple of times I saw you dressed up you looked amazing, completely female and nobody could have told that you weren't really a girl.
But that's the thing, you always were a girl weren't you, regardless of the fact that I tried to make you be a boy, you never were one, were you?
I'm kneeling now by your grave looking at the stone and thinking about what I could, forget that, what I should have done to help you.
I wasn't thinking when I flipped out at you and called you a freak and told you, I never wanted to see you again.
You were my little girl, but I couldn't see it, not while you were alive anyway. But looking back I can see it now, all the little things I didn't pick up on when I should have. I'm looking at the last photo I've got of you but I'm not really seeing it, instead I'm seeing you at different points through your life and noticing all the details I should have noticed then.
I see you at age four, looking for all the world like an innocent little girl, that time I caught you and your twin sister playing with my makeup, trying to "look like grownups".
I see you at age six, asking why you couldn't join ballet classes when your sister and all your friends had. I told you if you wanted to do a sport, you could join football or soccer but that ballet was only for girls.
I see you at seven, brushing your sister's hair and complaining that you wanted long hair as well.
I see you at eight, with your sister in her princess dress ready for your eighth birthday party while you were dressed like a pirate, with a sad look on your face gazing longingly and jealously at your sister.
I see you at ten, when I caught you and your sister dressing up "like teenagers" in short skirts and tight tops with wild eye makeup. I told you, you looked stupid and you needed to grow up. I somehow even convinced myself that it was just a phase and that you would outgrow it eventually.
I see you at twelve holding hands with your sister and defiantly telling me that you were a girl and me telling you, that you were a boy and could never be a girl and were too young to be making any major decisions about your life. You tried to tell me about transgendered people and how you were a girl just trapped in a boy's body, I didn't listen, nor did you.
I see you at thirteen, with your sister, both of you blossoming into beautiful young women though at the time I couldn't understand how you could be. You told me you were just lucky, you didn't have to develop into a man.
I see you at fourteen, the day I found the hormone pills you'd been taking for more than a year. I see you standing, not looking guilty, but looking proud, with your head held high. You told me how you'd ordered the pills off the internet because you couldn't bear to have to try to be something you weren't.
And finally I see you at fifteen, dying and hurting so bad, and it was all my fault. You tried to be a boy for me but you couldn't.
I see the months leading up to your fifteenth birthday as though I'm reliving them. The cuts high up on your arm that you tried to hide, the paleness of your face and your increasingly tired and worn out appearance. Your sister told me you weren't even talking to her much. Then on your birthday you came out, looking radiant in a forest green dress with your hair and makeup done. I didn't see that though, all I saw was that you'd disobeyed me, I yelled at you, telling you to either start acting like a man or get out of my house. You went back to your room and came out again without the dress, in ill-fitting jeans and a ragged t-shirt, you also came out without the happiness you'd had. I told you then that if I ever caught you dressed in girls' clothing again you'd be out of the house so fast your head would spin. That day you said nothing to me and barely anything to your sister, though she tried to stand up for you and tried to cheer you up, you just clung to her crying. When you went to bed that night, it was the last time we ever saw you alive.
When I couldn't wake you the next morning, I knew then what a terrible thing I'd done.
You died of a drug overdose on the twenty fifth of March 2008, you were fifteen years old. You were buried in a private ceremony at rosewood cemetery in a white oak coffin wearing the forest green dress you were wearing on the morning of your fifteenth birthday.
My little girl, Amber Marie Mather, dead and buried, long before you should have been. Dead and buried because I couldn't understand that you weren't trying to hurt or oppose me. Dead because I couldn't understand that you were just trying to be yourself. Dead because I didn't understand that it didn't matter whether you had a male body or a female body, inside you were a girl all your life.
Your sister cries for you every day, you were her best friend and her twin sister.
She blames me for what happened the night you died, and I blame myself as well. I hope in the afterlife you'll forgive me, though I'll never forgive myself.
I know it's too late now but I'm sorry.