An Open Letter To My Younger Sister

An Open Letter To My Younger Sister

You're genuinely the only one who can make me cry laugh.

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Dear Sis,

I want to start off by simply saying: thank you. I don't think I say it often enough but I seriously mean it.

Thank you for listening to me cry and somehow being able to make me laugh even in those moments. You're genuinely the only one who can make me cry laugh.

Thank you for listening to all my rants and all my anxious thoughts. I know I can be overwhelming at times but thank you for just being there and listening.

Thank you for being my partner in crime in everything and just hanging out with me. Life is a million times better with you around. I also want to say I love you. You are my best friend. We fight over every small thing and even when we have those bigger fights - we always know that at the end of the day we will always be there for each other. Genuinely my favorite memories with you are always the ones where we are cracking up so hard that I'm wheezing. I love that we will just randomly go on target runs just because we have nothing better to do. And I'm very grateful for those late night car drives when we just update each other about everything and anything.

You are literally one of the funniest people I know, even if I always say "that's not funny." And don't even get me started on those dance moves you have lol Recently those "sister dates" we have been having are my favorite memories.

I don't know how you grew up so fast. I remember seeing you with your emo hair in middle school and somehow now you've become this beautiful young adult. We always just I'm you're "little" big sister because you have always been better at the whole makeup and independence thins. But dang girl, you're about to be eighteen next year and I can't believe how fast time has gone.

I'm so proud of you lil sis. Of the amazing and kind woman that you are. I admire that you stand up for what you believe in and that you are so strong. You have gone through so much the year but you always come out stronger. As the older one, it is my duty to throw out some advice. So let me remind you to always trust in God- even when it gets hard and even when it doesn't make sense. And know that He is always, ALWAYS, with you. And lastly, I want to end by saying I'm sorry.

I'm sorry because sometimes I get so busy that I'm barely home.

I'm sorry that sometimes instead of having those late night talks I have to do homework. And I'm sorry for all the times I've yelled at you when you're actually right. (This is the time to say I'm sorry about using your toothbrush this week- sorry- it grossed me out as much as it is you right now). I'm always praying for you sis and I love ya. Cheers to a new year of amazing new memories!!!!

- Your Big Sis

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A Letter To My Angel, Amanda

Rest Easy Angel 11.07.18

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Amanda,

Your death has been the hardest thing for me to accept because every day I knew you, you were so full of life. You were radiant. Your presence lit up every room you walked into and your infectious laugh filled it. You cared for everyone and put others before yourself. You were one of my first forever friends.

You accepted and loved me for everything I was and everything I was not. You kept me company whether we were sitting in my basement doing nothing at all or spending the day in New York City. You were constantly making me laugh and were always there for me.

I scroll through my camera roll and your Facebook all the time and there are so many random pictures of us that I can't place, that I can't explain, but they're my favorite pictures because they remind me that we have so many memories together that it's impossible to remember them all.

But every time I think of you I'm overwhelmed with seas of memories that I can remember every moment of. Do you remember when we went to your farmhouse for the weekend and spent hours melting crayons with a hair dryer to make our own board? Well, that picture ended up being my Dads background for about 6 years, I still can't tell you why.

Or the day I found out I was moving back to California and you held me while I ugly-cried and told me that we would be friends no matter how far apart we were because you knew that was my biggest fear? And then moving day when you came over and drew notes in sharpie over all of my boxes and we made a mattress slide?

I have countless memories that include you that I'll cherish forever, from playing Just Dance with you in the basement to sharing our 13th birthday party.

These past two months I've been full of anger. I've been angry at the world for taking you and angry at myself for letting life and distance get in the way. I'll probably hold a piece of that anger for the rest of my life but I'll also hold eternal appreciation and admiration for you.

I want to tell you that I appreciate that you were always there for me when I needed someone. I appreciate that you could make me laugh until I couldn't breathe even on my worst days. I appreciate that you accepted me for all my flaws and never expected perfection. I appreciate that you were always supportive and encouraging and most of all I appreciate that you were the most amazing friend.

I want you to know that I admire your strength. I admire how you were always able to find the good in everything and see the best in everyone. I admire how selfless you were, always putting others before yourself. I admired how nonjudgmental you were, you always gave the best advice. I admire how hard headed you could be, never giving up until you reached your goal but more importantly I admired you for being you.

Remembering you is so easy, it's having to miss you that's so hard. My life is better because you were a part of it and I'm far from the only one. There is an army of people that miss you every day that will carry a piece of you forever. Rest easy, angel.

I love you.

Shea.

You are forever in our hearts. 

Amanda Aujero

"Amanda was one of my only friends starting high school and was there with me through family dinners, sleepovers, breakups, SAT's, and graduation. She was a light and such a beautiful person. We laughed so hard together that we would pee our pants. I miss her like crazy and plan on visiting her and talking to her for the rest of my life. She taught me to live with no regrets." -Mary Skrzypczak

"One thing I loved about Amanda was that she had such an open-mindedness I could tell her anything with no judgements." -Avery Zulauf

"My favorite memory of Amanda is us driving down the main road in LBI and laughing our asses off. I have known Amanda for years but her last 2 1/2 years on earth, I feel as if we got the closer we had ever been and I'm internally grateful for that. I love you Amanda." -Catie Keating

"There's a billion amazing words I could use that perfectly describe Amanda, but the one that I think differentiates her from most people is "real". She was real. That girl was truly one of a kind; irreplaceable. I knew from a young age when we became friends in elementary school that I could lose all of my friends but if I only had her I would be okay. It even felt that way at times but she and I were happy having just each other. One of my favorite memories with her was when I moved to Florida to start my freshmen year in high school. We were both upset we weren't experiencing high school together and we promised that we would never stop being best friends. I was scared starting at a school in a new state and not knowing anyone, and you know what Amanda did? For the first week or so before I made friends she would FaceTime me at lunch everyday so I wouldn't eat alone. Now that's true friendship right there. When I moved back it was like I never left. I always thought of her as a sister who just happened to be my best friend too. If you learn one thing from this it's that everyone should have an Amanda in their life. And if you don't, then don't settle because if you have that relationship with someone it outweighs having hundreds of friends. Having that special relationship with someone regardless if you're both here or not will never die. It lives on and it's something that I will cherish forever." -Selena Gonzalez

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My Roomie Is My Bestie, And I Appreciate Her Very Much

I appreciate you, boo.

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It is no secret that college can sometimes be crazy. One minute someone is stressed and crying over an assignment due the next day, and next thing you know, they are laughing hysterically with their friends. Friends can be so important in life, no matter how much people insist or cynically joke that they "hate people." If it weren't for the support and care of my family and friends, like my roommate, I would not be where and who I am at Longwood University today.

For those who have not seen how my roommate and I act, there are some ways we can be pretty different. Elizabeth is a Biology major and I am an English major, which basically makes our learning experiences two different planets on the same campus. While she forever binge-watches shows like "Grey's Anatomy" or "Law and Order: SVU", I spend my free time writing, looking at memes, or watching movies. Another interesting contrast between us is our wardrobe choices; she likes lighter colors while I like darker colors. Living together has united us to share and accept each other's weirdness whether I am busting out laughing about something that makes no sense at all or she is rearranging her furniture at 8 o'clock at night. For the first few weeks of college, I had no idea how to interpret our differences, but now I clearly see that she is the chocolate to my peanut butter!

Even though we have surface level differences, Elizabeth and I are alike in the ways that really count when it comes to being really good friends. We both understand the craziness of our family and friends because we approach most situations in similar ways. There have been nights where neither of us could sleep, and we find ourselves having the most therapeutic late night chat sessions till one in the morning that help us navigate the next step of our lives. Although we go through various situations, my roommate and I end up relating to or conquering our problems together. On the other hand, we also embrace each other's victories, whether it be a good grade on a big assignment or joining a new club on campus!

Elizabeth is a crazy, silly human being who never doubts herself, and I think we balance each other out. Sometimes we help bring one another back to planet Earth, and other times, we are boosting each other up to do our best. She supports everything I do with my major, despite not liking much about English in general, and I do the same for her. No matter how much we flame each other about pretty much anything, I know that we both have each other's back at the end of the day, and I am so grateful that she is my roommate.

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