I've recently been promoted as a co-author and I am feeling honored (and nervous) about this new position. I read your page daily, as I'm sure many do. I realized that we often write about you, understandably, but I thought it could be a nice change up to write to you this time. One of my favorite gifts from you, as you know, is a letter you wrote to me. I thought a letter would only be fair in return.
I cannot stress first and foremost how proud I am of you for making it through your second round of meetings with Nila (and Barb). I realize I was originally supposed to report on that, but I’m thankful for your Dad in taking the lead while I gathered my emotions. It has been an emotional journey, and you have endured quite a bit in just a few weeks. I was thinking about the idea of "luck" since I got to join for Friday's meeting on St. Patrick’s Day. The VOA was covered in green with the exception of Barb who completely forgot and only had a random green pin as her pinch-free shield. (She really doesn't strike me as a holiday amateur, but who am I to judge? She's so good to you and everyone there that she can wear whatever she wants). Anyways, “luck”.
I had personally never been one to believe in the idea of luck or coincidence and for so long believed more in the idea that there was intention behind every single life occurrence. I think about this in the context of our friendship and how this has been tested for me.
I can't remember the specific moment we became friends, but I have fond memories of Physics class, attempting to tie perfect bows, and working to master the lift in Dirty Dancing in your swimming pool in the summertime. (While most readers might be picturing cute 10 year old girls, remember that Abi and I didn't become friends until we were about 16/17. We were basically grown women doing mock synchronized swimming routines and Dirty Dancing lifts in our down time). In our early days, you shared your love for photography with me and we rode around listening to some original Taylor Swift (#staybeautiful) with the windows down in our favorite Beetle, affectionately named Ringo Starr. I think of how the idea of "fate" was tested for me on June 10, 2008, the day of your accident. We call it our friendship anniversary now - trying to take a positive spin on a not so positive day. I found this email chain between us from about three years ago on our “anniversary”, and I thought it fit well:
I mean it when I say I couldn't picture the last six years without you. Sometimes when I make a new friend and I talk about you, we get around to the story of that day, and every time I use the same comparison of when I got out of the car and it felt like a movie. I always include the banana anecdote too, to keep it light: "I was standing on the driveway with two bananas in hand, and I texted her and said something like... you're late, I'm gonna eat your banana!" We had only been friends for a few months, but you were something special and it wasn't the right time. That day changed my life, too, but more importantly, you did. Our friendship is one I cherish more than I can express, I'm sure. You know you get bonus points for your family and of course Jonathan now, but I look forward to a life of friendship with you. I will always be there (wherever there may be) - so please remember that much! You always have been for me… It fills my heart up the most to spend time with my favorite people, and you are the best friend I could ask for (and I didn't even ask, I just hung around a hospital and ate cheese! Woo you're easy. :))
I fast forward to February 9, 2017, and again this idea of everything happening for a reason seems unthinkable, especially for someone who brings so much joy and love into our world. I catch myself thinking again… it’s not the right time. As I continue exploring the intention or coincidence behind the events of our lives, what I know to be the true is this: you are resilient. Intentional or completely by chance, whatever obstacles arise for you, you give everything you have and you fight. When I think about luck, I choose to focus on how lucky I feel for everyday after June 10 and for the years of your friendship and love that followed. I imagine everyone feels the same. I also think about your strength as you fight in this new challenge, your incredible family, and your support system. I cannot stress enough that those are not a representation of luck - they are a direct reflection of who you are and how you have shared your love with all of us.
For you, there aren't days off physically or mentally and there aren't clear outcomes yet. I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it is to grapple with those frustrations. I hope you know how loved you are and how much faith each and every one of us have in you. You are my best friend, my future business partner, my family. I don't think you realize what your love looks like, but I hope you can feel us trying to match it with you now. \
I love you more than you know,
P.S. My task for our readers this week (get out your to-do lists, folks) is to reach out to Abi and remind her how loved she is. Our girl deserves all the love in the world.