To The Friend Who Everyone Lost Too Soon, You Still Teach Me So Much

To The Friend Who Everyone Lost Too Soon, You Still Teach Me So Much

There are still so many lessons to learn from you.

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Dear Cassie,

I miss you. I wish we could have grabbed that coffee or go to the lunch we were planning... instead of going to your funeral. I wanted to pick your brain, see how you were, reminisce about our time in Haiti, and work on cultivating our friendship. Truthfully, I'm still experiencing the disbelief. It's really hard for me to believe you're really gone because you were so full of love and joy and life.

If you were to ask anyone what Cassie was like, I guarantee they would begin with how kind, compassionate, funny, beautiful, talented, and extraordinary she was. For the longest time when I was first getting to know Cassie, she was incredibly quiet and shy. However, she was anything but. Cassie was an absolute giant. Her faith and love for God were unwavering.

At her service, a portion of her journal was shared. In it, the pages read, "Never leave me Lord, keep me under your wing". I have no doubt that He did just this. To this day, I'm still unclear of many things that happened in the days preceding her going home. But one of the few things I'm sure of is that Cassie was so incredibly brave.

No matter what the circumstance or the trial, she kept her eyes focused on the Lord. She had hopes, dreams, goals and so many aspirations, but above all, she had incredible faith. Cassie's faith was a true reflection of who she was. If one thing could be said about her time on Earth, it can be said that she 'loved Jesus, and talked to God often'.

Her faith was a testament to who she was and was a reflection of the incredible heart she had.

I don't think Cassie ever met a person she couldn't love. She was always the first to show grace and compassion to strangers and kindness and generosity to her friends. Mark 12:31 says, "The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no greater commandment than these." If Cassie's life had a mission statement, it would have been this verse.

You were a light to so many beautiful.

You encouraged countless people daily.

My dear, you were a light in an otherwise dark world.

I still wish I could have told you what you meant to me. This was one of the biggest things I took away from your passing. So, I began the journey of showing and sharing my love for the people I care about. I didn't want the legacy of your life to not be applicable to my own. I knew that if I was going to honor you in the best way possible, I would do the thing you were probably the best at.

In just a short amount of time, you lived the most fulfilling life. Without a doubt Cassie, you touched the lives of everyone you ever met. From work to school to church, your light and life reflected one thing: Jesus. Everyone who knows you knew this. While you were so intelligent and crazy beautiful, every single day you drew breath you reflected the glory and awesome plan of God.

All I have to say is thank you, Cassie. Thank you for all the lessons you've taught me in the last year. Thank you for challenging me to choose joy. Thank you for inspiring me to love and be okay with accepting love. Thank you for encouraging me to step out with nothing but faith. I'll never truly be able to thank you enough but thank you for all the lessons you've taught and you continue to teach me.

I love you, Cass.

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Shoutout To My Parents For Giving Me My Best Friend In The Form Of A Younger Brother

He's not as bad as I first anticipated.

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This is a story about my best friend.

I was lucky enough to have a built-in bestie from the day he came home with my parents and I immediately questioned who they stole the "creature" from.

My brother's name is Andrew and he and I have always had a catty but close relationship, which has developed into something I wouldn't trade for the world.

When we were younger we were the most jocular kids you could find and spent our days running around with our school friends shooting each other with nerf guns, hiding in every corner to leap out and give the other a heart attack.

We would hang out for hours until someone antagonized the other (Andrew was always the trouble maker) and yelled for our mom to intervene, or took out our ager by practicing our yellow belt karate skills on each other until our fake punches got to be too much and we would die laughing.

I never realized how special my relationship with my brother was until I heard how my friends talked out their siblings. My friends would endlessly complain about how much they hated their brother or sister and wished they were never born; and me, being who I am, would be shocked that they used the h-word, and tell them that they must still love them which they would relentlessly deny.

Seeing these failing relationships taught me to cherish what my brother and I have, and that is honestly the most important responsibility, and gift, I could've ever been given.

Looking back, the best childhood memories I have include him, and I wouldn't have it any other way. From founding the science club (his closet that we would do experiments in, and give our friends golf balls with their name on it as a key), to sledding down a three-foot hill in our neighbor's backyard for hours, to surfing and boogie boarding until we turned to prunes, to the endless games of HORSE we played (I don't understand how I'm still terrible at basketball), he's been with me.

Since then, our relationship has blossomed into much more than snow wrestling and movie binging; now as an adult, coming home from college is the most stress relieving and exciting time, because I know I get to hang out with my brother and talk about the most obscure things until he makes me get out of his room (because teenage angst, you know!!).

Thankfully, the required familial love has turned into a never-ending love for my best friend and little brother, and I can't wait to keep growing up side by side and to see what the world has in store for us.


https://www.instagram.com/andrewgmphoto/


ANDDDD HE'S 17 (as of the 15th)https://www.instagram.com/rebecca_miller38/

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