A Letter to a Friend

“I think that every person you meet you fall in love with. Just a little bit. And a piece of them always stays with you. So overtime you collect people, and maybe you don’t remember every single one, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t affected you. For better or for the worse. They changed you.”

Dear Kelsie,

I think you would have liked Mozambique. You always had a sense of adventure about you, whether it be flying to a different country to learn and explore or driving all over town at midnight in search of the movie Footloose to brighten up our boring Saturday night. I think you would have enjoyed climbing mango trees here with me. They make excellent climbing trees! And you would definitely enjoy the runs here. The sunrise over the mountains is just too beautiful to describe.

If you were here in Cuamba, I would take you to climb church mountain. It’s not a difficult climb, but once you get to the top your breath disappears just from the sight of the rustic village laid out beneath you. With the wind blowing and the sun shining overhead, it’s the perfect place to dangle your feet over the edge of the mountain and just talk for hours, just like we used to.

It surprised me—never really having gotten to know you before moving in with you—just how easy it was to talk to you. You were so open, generous, and accepting, and I immediately felt comfortable opening up and trusting you. I’m not sure I’ve yet met another person with your inner strength and character. You definitely influenced who I was and what I thought, and you have only changed me for the better. It was such a short semester, but wasn’t it fantastic? Our Clue-themed room kicked ass, and also became a gathering point for so many random shenanigans. Remember watching the Gulick-ians and commenting on those who left their curtains open? Or moving the desks around and just sprawling on the floor?


I knew I’d be able to count on you if times got tough. I’ve cried on your shoulder and you’ve cried on mine. I’ve never gotten anything but support from you. Even your last message to me was support of my being in Mozambique. I know that times got tough for you and sometimes you didn’t always feel strong, but you were definitely one of the strongest people I know. You have influenced so many more lives than you can possibly imagine, and you are truly a beautiful person. It’s so hard for me to think I won’t meet up with you next summer like we planned, but I hope you found the peace and comfort that often escaped you in life. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends at this time, and I hope that wherever you are, you know that you were really loved.

❤ forever in AOT



“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep, loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” –Elizabeth Kubler Ros

If you are feeling depressed or suicidal, please seek help. Sometimes all you need is some support: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org


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