I Wonder What You Would Think If You Were Still Here

I Wonder What You Would Think If You Were Still Here

I didn’t know that losing a great friend like you would make me so strong.
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It’s been four and a half years since your beautiful soul left us. At first I was scared that I would someday forget you, and I never wanted that to happen. I was so young that I didn’t realize that you would leave an impact on my life that would never leave.

Four and a half years ago, a crisp winter night would turn into one that would impact my life forever. You were driving. My best friend was riding shotgun. My other friends were in a car ahead of you. None of us could even imagine what would happen that night.

To this day, no one really knows what happened for sure. Was the road slippery? Did you lose control of the wheel? I guess we will never know for sure, but we all know you didn’t deserve to go so young.

You were the positive one. The one that brought us all together. You lite up a room with your smile. You never failed to make your friends smile or laugh when they were down. There’s so many things I wish you could’ve been around for.

According to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers. In 2013, six teens between the ages of 16-19 died every day from car accidents. You were one of them.

My heart felt a physical ache it had never known before. I didn’t know my eyes could cry so hard for so long. I had never seen a guy bawl so hard until the night after you left us. We all wept together and grieved our loss. No one could ever replace you, there was no one like you.

It took a long time to be okay again. We (your friends) stood together and leaned on each other. We did our best to honor you and make you proud of us. We all believed you were looking down on us – our guardian angel.

Before you, I had never a friend so close to me. I was scared I would forget about you. Sometimes I go back through old videos to hear your voice. I look back through old Facebook posts to remember our silly conversations. I still miss you, daily.

At first I didn’t know that I would not only never forget you, but I would think of you every day.

I didn’t know that because of the tragedy that took you from us, I would find Jesus.

I didn’t know that losing a great friend like you would make me so strong.

If you were here, you would be getting ready for your senior year of college. I wonder what school you would’ve chosen, what you would’ve majored in and what career path you would’ve pursued.

What would you think of us? The ones you left behind.

Would you be proud of how we all stuck together after you left? Would you be honored by how we chose to remember you? Or would you be sad that we don’t see each other anymore? That we floated away and let our lives pull us apart.

We do all gather once a year when we visit you. For the short time that we are all together, we forget the petty fights and remember the fantastic memories of the past. We hug and laugh and catch up, I think you would really like it. I hope that you can see us when we do that.

If you were here could you have kept us together? Would you have been the one to rescue us when we were all falling apart?

I choose to think you are proud of us all. No matter where we are now. You were always the one to look on the bright side. The one to cheer us on and pick us up when we were down.

I miss you every day. I hope I am making you proud. You’re my guardian angel and I can feel you near in times of trouble. Thank you for watching over me.

Cover Image Credit: Annie Theby

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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5 Songs to Add to Your Playlist This Month

Spring into finals week (and the summer) by "cleaning up" your playlist

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Here are some fun, fresh new tracks to check out as you finish out the rest of the school year and help you get out of your "music comfort zone!"

“Patience” by Tame Impala 

Genre: Electronic/Alternative

Tame Impala FINALLY released new music (!!), and this track is absolutely stunning. With frontrunner Kevin Parker staying on brand with the band's psychedelic, seemingly ethereal style, it sounds like a combination of 70s soft rock and waves of modern-day electronica, with Parker's voice drifting in and out in a kind of otherworldly, mellowed-out manner.

“Harmony Hall” by Vampire Weekend 

Genre: Alternative/Indie Pop

Vampire Weekend is also releasing an album, entitled "Father of the Bride", on May 3rd. From the looks of it, this track relates to the theme of marriage/weddings present in the album's title, and it is a fun, upbeat song that I have been listening to a lot in the morning as I'm getting ready for class! Ezra Koenig's voice is so unique and can cover a broad range, and I highly recommend listening to some of the band's other work as well ("Step" from their 2013 release "Modern Vampires of the City" is one of my all-time favorite songs!).

“Ready to Let Go” by Cage the Elephant 

Genre: Alternative/Alternative Rock

So many great artists are (finally) releasing new albums this year, and Cage the Elephant falls into this category. This track is an absolute banger and doesn't stray much from the band's style in that it includes a lot of loud guitar and dynamic vocals. Like Vampire Weekend, Cage the Elephant has been around since the early 2000s, and I highly recommend checking out some of their earlier work as well (big fan of their most recent album, actually!)

“Apple Orchard” by Beach House 

Genre: Indie/Electronic

Beach House is one of my favorite bands of all time, as I find a kind of an ethereal, beautiful sadness in the dreamy style of instrumentalist Alex Scally and lucid vocals of singer Victoria Legrand. This track is from their 2006 self-titled debut and is probably one of my favorite songs they've ever released. The lyrics are poetic and perfect for the post-finals enjoyment of spring weather, in that they preach relaxation and restfulness, and the song's electronic rhythms echo the essence of spring as well. If you like this song, then I highly recommend checking out the band's other albums as well (Depression Cherry is one of my favorite albums of all time).

“April Come She Will” by Simon & Garfunkel 

Genre: 60s Pop

No spring playlist is complete without a little Simon & Garfunkel! This song is a classic, its timeless, poetic lyrics capturing the epitome of the coming of spring and all its glory. In fact, I consider the entire album (entitled Sound of Silence) to be perfect for the pleasantness and feelings of renewal/natural revitalization associated with the coming months, so be sure to give it a listen if you haven't heard it before!

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