Hey Baby girl!! Gosh Alex. I am so proud of you and how far you've come. You have done so much for yourself, just like you always said you were going to. I can see how happy you are and it makes me smile. I've always only wanted to see you happy and lively. You deserve great things in life and I know you are going to go so far. You are pretty, smart, goofy and so much fun! I am proud to be your friend. I love you so much! I know you are going to have a wonderful summer. You know my #, so call me!
I do know your number. It's been saved in my phone for over 10 years. I've often wondered who would be on the other end if I called it. I feel funny writing this response now. Mostly because you wrote this to me junior year. Precisely a year before you left us. I guess it didn't mean as much then as it does now, and that's sad. Your message, if you remember, is scrawled in silver ink, on a white page. A page in the back of the yearbook, over hundreds of people's names. I remember you saying 'I am writing my message over these people's names because I am important and they are not." Ha, your sense of humor never escapes me, not even today.
Now, 10 years later---so much has happened, and I feel like I've grown so much. Yet, in a way, I'm right where you left me. As I type now, I am sitting in the same bed I was laying in that fateful day. The same day my mom told me you were gone. That's another story, and you know it well. I'm still goofy, and I am still the same person in a way. I've grown---and gone through those life milestones. College educated. Former teacher turned HR professional. Still cautious. Still clumsy as all hell. Still nerdy. Still the same pensive Alex you knew. The girl who would drive with all the windows down just so her hair could blow in the wind. The girl with big dreams.
I suffered some setbacks. I fell in love, which didn't turn out to be so great in the end, but whatever. I gained 80 pounds. I got to the lowest place imaginable, and found a way to somewhat pick myself out of it. I opened up. I lost myself. Which, I am working on finding again. I am working on being happy. Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes it is a battle. That's life.
There is so much I have to say, and so little time. I remember I used to write to you every single day. After awhile the need for that kind of faded. Mostly because I just knew you were with me. Or at least watching over me. And while I know you've been there with me for every milestone, I cannot help wanting to sit in a room with you for hours, just to get the smallest piece of advice. The truth is, I might seem like I have it pretty together, but I honestly have no idea what I am doing. I know what I want, but it's taking so long to get there. I've been back to that place lately, where I see the world moving around me and it's like I am stuck in quicksand. Nevertheless, that's neither here nor there. I feel like I am a little late to the 'figuring out what you want' party. Since I'll be 28 this year, and I feel like I am in all the wrong places at all the wrong times. I know if you were here, you'd tell me not to worry about it. As everyone else does now. You would tell me, as you did in high school, that I have my own agenda. That time just consists of numbers on a clock.
You're right. Time is just time. However, I think that we often take moments within time for granted.
I miss you dearly, and I have been blessed with an amazing friend like you. We were both those weird kids. The kind of friends where if one was present, you knew the other was following suit shortly. I am thankful that I regret not one moment of our friendship. Not even the time you wouldn't give me the aisle seat on the bus. Not even the times you made me go back to the shoe store 554577555 times to find the right pair of heels for prom. Not even the time you made me sleep head to toe in your twin size bed---with your dirty flip flop feet and two pit bulls.
I write you now, because 10 years later, I've done the one thing you've always asked me to do. That's remember you. I know you always used to ask me (in your morbid way) 'Alex, if I died, would you remember me?' I used to yell at you for asking the question, and in some way, maybe you knew you would leave us early. Even so, I would say 'Of course.'
I remember you, and I always will. I see so much of you around me each day. In Mae, and your family--who continues to blossom and grow. They are all doing their own amazing things, and I know you would be proud.
I hope that you are with me each day. I feel it sometimes in the most subtle of ways--and even now, a decade later, I see things that make me smile--these same things let me know that you're smiling down on me. Mostly, I want to make you proud.You taught me some of the hardest lessons I ever had to learn. 10 years ago, I was just a kid. Then, in the blink of an eye, I had to sort of grow up. And fast. I had to learn how to put on my boots and move forward. I think I'm a stronger person for it---and even though I am not the pinnacle of 'tough', I'd still like to think I am pretty strong.
I want to end this by letting you know I'm doing alright. I am not exactly where I thought I would be. But you know what? I'm okay with that. I used to think I could have this amazing ability to have everything figured out all of the time. You know, I've always had control issues. Yet, I think little by little I am learning to let go more often. It isn't easy, and it's scary as shit (yes, I swore)...but I think I am coming to terms with it. I'm not sure what the future holds, but I am hoping that I can make some good things happen for me in the next year.
Thank you for being such an amazing friend. Even though you're not physically here--I know you're with me. It's probably not always easy watching some of my paths--but hey, sometimes you have to make a few wrong turns to get to your final destination.
Thank you for being with me, always in my dreams....and I promise, I'll carry you with me, always in my heart.