I know I tell you more than I probably should about how much I am grateful for you and your existence on this planet in general. You’re probably tired of hearing it, honestly. But the reality is that I have a new perspective now that I’ve never had and I need to share it.
Throughout the past few weeks, I feel I have personally grown in more ways than I ever thought I would. I have prayed and asked God to show me signs that it was worth it or signs that I was worth breathing anymore. It’s very cliche, but as soon as I would pray those prayers, you’d somehow pop into my day that day.
The most important thing I will remember about you, regardless of wherever life may go, is that you’ve seen me at my worst and instead of running away, you held me accountable and stood there by my side when it had seemed everyone else was gone. Every time I fell, you’d throw another one-liner at me and it’d be just enough for me to stay.
I didn’t know what the definition of loyalty was until you showed me throughout the past year. As I think back on this past year, I know that God gave me you. God gave me you so that someone could shake me when I’m being ridiculous and bring me back to reality. God gave me you so that I could see His love more clearly. Through you, I saw God more clearly than ever before.
You’ve given me a new beginning, a space to be heard and, oddly enough, an opportunity to be optimistic (rarely). All throughout my life I’ve had to make people care about me. I’ve had to beg for compassion. I’ve never had to make you care about me at all; you do it automatically. You can tell every single time I’m nervous because of certain mannerisms and you do your best to ease that nervousness.
I remember when I first found out that my brother was going to get away with his abuse towards me. As I sat in your space, you gave me an open opportunity to be heard and genuine about my truth. It is in that space on that day, where you told me that it was okay for me to cry and that it was okay for me to feel hurt. In those moments, you may never know how much I needed to hear those words.
Thank you for picking me up when I fall. Thank you for knowing me well enough to know my mannerisms in different situations and for giving me a new definition of both loyalty and hope. Thank you for not leaving me on the ground.
Donnell, it is because of you that I am standing up today.