Patrick,

It's been a month since you passed and it still doesn't seem real. I constantly wake up expecting a cheesy snapchat or asking me for help on homework or reminding me how important I am to the world. Sometimes I'll go to pull out my phone to message you about things happening at ECU or to ask you how home is, but then I remember.

I don't know what happened that day. No one knows. All we know is that a part of us is missing now. Your picture is watching me as I write this, and I can't help but think you're watching over me, too.

Things are different without you here. My mom and I can't joke about our future wedding or you proposing to me with those humongous earrings- which by the way- will never make sense to me. I wish I still got to see your shining smile or play with your hair until you fell asleep in class, even though I told you that you needed to pay attention. Our late night FaceTime calls while I helped you write a paper right after I finished mine will forever be in my memory. Nothing is the same without you here, Patty.

We met in the sixth grade. You were goofy and annoying and I was quiet and shy, but we somehow managed to become really close. Seventh grade came and went, we had a few conversations, but not nearly enough. When eighth grade came, we had every class together. We grew closer than ever before and I am so thankful it happened. High school came and went but we still talked. You would ask me for help with homework, or when we had classes together, you would sit beside me and ask me what momma packed you today.

Eventually, mom caught on and started packing me extras so I could feed you during Biology, even though I'm pretty sure your mom would always try to get you to eat something before you left in the mornings.

I wish I had more time with you to tell you everything I need to say, but this will suffice. I want to thank you for always keeping a smile on my face, even when things got bad. You never gave up on me and I am forever appreciative of that. You were such a genuine soul and I know you did everything in your heart to make others happy, even if you didn't realize it. Without you- there's no telling where I'd be. I miss you so much. We all miss you. You were a light for so many people and you impacted our lives greatly.

I'll never forget you, or the words you told me. "You're a big light in a small world, you just don't realize it yet." These are the words that drive me to do the best that I can. I want to make you and everyone around me proud. I want to make a change in the world, just like you.

I never thought that I would be writing this for you, but I guess that's how life works. No one tells us as young people that we might deal with the loss of our best friends, but the harsh reality is that it happens more often then we realize. It's something we don't want to face, but we have to. Just know that even though you're gone, you are forever in our hearts.

Take care of my Grammy until I get there. For now, I've got to make you both proud.

I love you forever.

Nyah