To my forever best friend, I Wouldn't Trade Our Friendship For ANYTHING

To my forever best friend, I Wouldn't Trade Our Friendship For ANYTHING

When I need a friend, you are always there

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To my forever friend,

There are no words that I could say in order to explain the impact you have had on my life. I am eternally grateful for the bond we have created. Thank you for always going above and beyond to always be the greatest friend I could ever ask for.

All of my most treasured memories involve you, because you are always there by my side.

When I need to rant, you always listen. When I need a hug, you open your arms, when I need advice, you always tell me what I need to hear but most importantly, when I need a friend you are always there. No one in this world understands me the way you do, just a simple look and you know what I am thinking.

We accept each other for all of our weird habits and embarrassing moments and laugh them off instead of letting them bother us. We have gone through practically every phase of life together, making us both grow as individuals and as best friends. We hardly have to keep each other updated on one another's lives, because we do practically everything together. There is no better feeling than never having to explain yourself to someone, because they totally understand you.

It is very rare to find someone who is happy for your happiness, and sad for your sadness, but when you do that person breaks all barriers of friendships and becomes family. You truly are more of a sister to me than a best friend. No matter what we bicker about or what disagreements we have, nothing can make us stop loving each other. You truly are a part of my family, and I know I am yours too. My mother loves you as her own and will forever hold a special place in her heart for you and the friendship we share. It is totally normal for me to come home, and you're already at my house, hanging with my family while waiting for me to come home. You know how to joke around with my siblings and they are comfortable enough with you to throw jokes right back at you.

We tend to laugh every second we are together and have more inside jokes than I could ever think of.

We constantly text each other "OMG REMEMBER WHEN…" and they always make us relive some of the funniest days we've shared. Even the simplest things, like running errands, we make an adventure. There is nothing in this world that I would ever trade for our friendship. You're stuck with me for the long run, girlfriend!

Thank you for being my partner in crime, my person, my best friend and the closest thing I have ever had to a sister.

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the beautiful barefoot boy

The goal isn't to live forever, but to create something that will.

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This morning, I did the same thing I do every single morning when I wake up. Before my feet hit the floor, I say a prayer. I thank God for waking me up, blessing me with such a good life, and pray for any specific thing that is laying on my heart. Lately, I have been praying a lot for the same person many people in my community have been praying for- Matt McGregor. I have prayed for healing, comfort, strength, and many other things to happen in Matt's journey, but I also prayed that God's will be done in his life above all else. Little did I know yet that His will had been done.

I remember Matt from school. Every time I saw him, everyone around him was laughing. And I am not exaggerating. He was one of those special people who can literally make anyone and everyone laugh no matter the situation. He was one of those people that the world needs around to make life more bearable and just down right better.

Death sucks. Cancer sucks. Yes, I am glad that Matt is no longer suffering, but that does not really give me a sense of relief because I know his family and friends are suffering. I think about Matt's sisters, and cannot fathom the pain that they're feeling. I could not imagine life without my brothers, my kids not getting to grow up and hang out with their cool uncles, and telling on each other to our parents when we all come home for Christmas when we're 40. I think about his parents, who are having to do the hardest thing anyone could have to do, say goodbye to their son. I think about his friends, who's lives will never be the same every time they do something that reminds them that he's no longer here to share life with. He was too young, too full of life. The worst death are the ones that can't be explained, and this one of them.

That's the thing about life, you never know when it's going to end and that is what makes it so fragile. Someone you know passes away, and you suddenly start to contemplate whether you are living your life "good" enough. You wish you'd spent more time with the one who passed, hold on a little tighter to the ones who are still here, and make sure you remind them you love them. But to show someone you love them is much more powerful than telling them, and that is exactly how Matt lived his life. His life light was beaming all the time and he was constantly sharing that with everyone around him. That is part of why he was so special.

When someone dies, they leave their own legacy that is different from every single other person on the planet. Your legacy depends on the amount of light that you have shed on others. Looking through Facebook today, it is so obvious that his light touched so many people. Matt's death has reminded me of those that I have and will continue to lose throughout life... there is no better way to say it than death sucks. But even though death sucks, it reminds us to live our life to the fullest, and continue the legacy of those we've lost.

On a side note, I found it interesting that Matt was barefoot all the time, so I googled being barefoot in biblical times. Moses and Joshua was commanded to take off his shoes as he was standing on holy ground, and poor people did not have shoes so they went barefoot. But this is my favorite: priests in Israel went barefoot while ministering. They would take their shoes off before blessing their people. It is evident that Matt blessed so many people's lives in his short time on this Earth. Coincidence that he was known for always being barefoot? I think not.

Let your life light shine brightly like Matt's, and always live life to the fullest.

. . .

In loving memory of Matt McGregor Jr.

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them." Revelation 14:13

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To The People That Helped Me Find My Passion, Thank You

I wouldn't be where I am today without all of you.

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My favorite subject in school was always English. It didn't take me very long to discover that I prefer writing to science and math. Ever since I was little, I've had a fascination with reading and writing. The way people arrange words is so impressive and captivating. I adore unique figurative language and what these various elements add to a piece.

When I'm bored, I write stories and poems. My notes app is littered with random thoughts and ideas. Writing essays is even enjoyable for me. However, I didn't figure this all out by myself, as I had lots of help to discover what I'm passionate about.

I guess my very first encounter with the idea of a career in English started with my love for reading. As a kid, my mom would always take my sister and me to our local library. I picked out as many books as my library card allowed and went straight home to start reading my haul. With this early exposure to reading as a fun activity, I grew up with this mentality. So thank you to my mom for building a strong foundation for my dreams.

In terms of writing, my love truly began in sixth grade. I vividly remember my language arts teacher assigning us three book projects that involved various writing prompts and some creativity. I read each book at lightning speed and immediately began writing according to the prompts. The creative direction I wanted to take just came naturally to me. This was where the fire was ignited and nothing (not even writer's block) could stop me. The excitement I had for this homework assignment was more than I ever had for anything school related. So thank you, Mrs. O' Donnell, for creating a spark in me.

In high school, my love for writing only grew stronger. I took a creative writing workshop in both my junior and senior years and loved every second of it. Being able to share my work with someone and get their honest feedback for revisions was something I never got to do before, but this course provided me with that opportunity.

At the end of my senior year, I compared my pieces from the past year and could see how much my writing style had changed and improved. So thank you, Mrs. Cicchetti, for helping me advance my knowledge and admiration for my passion.

Even though I am a college freshman who has just finished her first semester, I have already met another influence who has helped me grow. Somehow in my schedule of gen eds, I was given the opportunity to write creative works. In my Creative Acts course, I got to experience receiving feedback from a large group of people.

Yes, this process was nerve-wracking at first, but it allowed me to see what a group of people thought about my writing. I sat and watched my classmates talk about my story and heard their thoughts and opinions right in front of me. I also received a letter from each of my peers with what they liked and would change in revision. Seeing how readers reacted provided me with a little taste of what it's like to be an author. So thank you, Professor Allingham, for giving me incredible feedback and advice.

All the people mentioned above are adults, but my last thank you is for my best friend. She has been right by side ever since the beginning of my passion. We have bonded over countless books and our love for reading. Whenever I write a new piece, she is the first to see it. Her excitement to read my newest story is contagious and makes me want to start developing my next idea right away. In all my works, her feedback is always helpful and inspiring. So thank you, Emily, for being so supportive and enthusiastic about what I love to do.

All these people have had a significant impact on how I came to be an English major. Even though quite a few people have already left a mark on me, I can't wait to meet more people who will inspire me. I'm so eager to see my progress and growth because of future influences.

To all the people above and more to come, thank you.

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