Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dear Friend

Dear Ember,

We said our goodbyes to you this week...or at least we began the process. We will, however, never say goodbye to our precious memories of you and will continue to look forward to that day in which we will get to say hello again.

For now, I choose to reflect on some of the treasury of memories we have shared together and take a moment to share them with others, in hopes that they too will bring a smile to their face as they have brought a smile to mine.

Memories of our IBC days... Sometimes on weekdays, when we would find out the night security alarm was broken, and, thinking it wrong not to take advantage of the opportunity, we would stay out late rollerblading at the canals, etc or, often, when the alarm was working, we would stay up late on campus for both legit and pointless reasons. Then, the next morning, your roommate Steph and I would shake your bed and do all kinds of other mean stuff to you trying to wake you up for class. Most of those times you never even budged. You were the Energizer Bunny at night; Sleeping Beauty in the morning. I will never understand how you slept through all that.

I remember being at a tent revival service we were having in the same neighborhood as IBC. A very young girl wandered in off the street. You ended up holding her the whole service where you sat on the front row, directly in front of me. The girl was wild, squirming around, playing with your hair, making lots of noise, etc., to such a point that I questioned whether she actually was hearing anything the minister said. Then the altar call was given.  Within just a couple of minutes that little girl was speaking in tongues as God filled her with the Holy Ghost. That day God taught me to assume nothing, things are not always as they appear.

Memory of General Conference in Phoenix...I had been in Phoenix for days already, staying with my family in a hotel, when you decided to come to conference at the last minute. The next thing I knew you had arrived and were begging me to stay with you at your hotel. Sight unseen I finally gave in. Upon arrival to the hotel I realized why you had begged me to stay with you. It looked like those places in movies where criminals on the run hide out, or where the victim is found. I went to get a towel from the front desk. When I got there, the door was ajar (by ajar I mean open and looked broken) and I rang a bell and waited a good long while for someone to come to the front desk. No one ever came. There were other very disturbing things about the room that I can't fully remember now, but I feel like it involved both leaks and bugs. I did not sleep well that night...actually I am not sure if I slept at all. Needless to say, I am hoping you never again chose to book online one of those super cheap non-chain hotels without reviews and sight unseen.

Memories of Vacation in Daytona Beach...My family had booked a three bedroom condo. My parents, my cousin and her husband, and us were supposed to all stay in the same condo. We arrived to find out that, oops, they only had two bedroom condos at the largest available. I all of a sudden felt homeless, or at the best that it was gonna be a long week sleeping on an air mattress. Then the most wonderful thing happened, the resort gave you and I our own corner, ocean front, just steps up from the pool, condo, free of charge. And the rest of the week was bliss...
Well, other than the day we decided to rent those big wheel looking things to ride on the sand. It looked easy. We quickly found out it wasn't. We thought "we'll just ride down to that next pier".  We quickly realized that "next pier" was much further away than we had assumed and that we weren't nearly as coordinated or in near as good shape as we had thought. But, we were both stubborn and goal oriented and persevered...and both almost passed out in the process. If I remember correctly I think we walked those big wheels back.

There are so many other times I could mention, but one seemingly insignificant one stands out in my mind....Staying at your parent's house, sitting out on their patio getting our farmers tans, while we both drank our waters and read our non-fiction books in silence. We of course later discussed all the cool stuff we were learning from our books, but for that moment we were perfectly content sitting in silence sharing something we both enjoyed doing.

There's so many things that make me smile that I will always remember about you. You were the only person I knew that referred to anybody, male or female, as "Dude" and got away with it. You were always trying to talk me into things. I was always telling you no. Now some of those things I wish I would have said yes to...not the random things you would try to get me to sell though. You were the one with the sales skills, not me. I love how I could come to town to visit you and by the time I left feel like I had seen the whole city and met everyone who lived there. I love how you liked road trips/ traveling just as much as me, and wish I could have went on every trip you ever tried to talk me into.

We were different in so many ways, but it was our similarities that through distance and time kept our friendship solid. I learned a lot from you my friend, a lot about not letting past negatives weigh down future hopes, a lot about living life fully, a lot about many other things. I am still a work in progress in applying these lessons, but I have learned them.

I will miss our tag team goofy voicemails. I will miss you making fun of how pathetic I am at texting back quickly. I will miss seeing the irritated look on your face when I said your name like "Timbeeeer". I will miss hearing you say "Dude" or "Chica". I will miss you.

As much as I will miss you, I thank God that I am one of the lucky ones who was blessed to have known you.

Until we meet again my friend...

Love you,

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