You never knew what a difference you would make in the life of the shy, angry girl.
We couldn’t have been more different. At thirteen, I was already towering above your small, shrunken frame. You were ancient in my youthful eyes. Your skin was dark, mine light. Your smile lit up the room and your laugh made everyone smile. I was too terrified to let any words cross my lips.
But none of that mattered. You loved me and I clung to you. You were one of the few adults who believed that teenagers weren’t defined by their age – that the sky was the limit and that no matter what age we were, we could do great things. You never told me that my dreams were silly. You never laughed at my amateurish writing. You never rolled your eyes and said that all teenagers were good for was troublemaking.
When my world crumbled to pieces, you were the one who held me up. You cried with me. You encouraged me. You sent me gifts that made me smile and dried my tears for a time. You reminded me that God hadn’t abandoned me. I never would have gotten through those years without you.
You had suffered greatly – even then your body was wracked with illnesses determined to take your life. But you never stopped smiling or laughing or offering up encouragement and hope. You never gave up and because of that, you taught me to do the same.
I miss you more than you know. I miss you so so so badly. My heart hurts when I think that I never got to give you one last hug or tell you again how much you meant to me. It’s been over a year now since you escaped from the body that had hurt you so much. Over a year now since you went to the place that you so longed to be in. I smile through the tears because you’re with the God that you served so faithfully. You’re with the mom and sisters that you missed so much. You don’t ache anymore. You’re free.
Not many know your name. Not many remember you. But I do. I always will. Me and the other teens who you undyingly loved and encouraged. We’ve been impacted by you; our lives forever changed because of your gentle touch. We will never forget you. Your legacy will live on in our hearts and be manifested through our actions.
Thank you. Thank you.