For your friends till they are dead;
Do not write them on their tombstones,
Speak them rather now instead.” – Anna Cummins
1. You are all beautiful. Each and every one of you and when you criticize yourself so harshly, it makes me think I, too, must be too hard on myself. Stop cutting your arm out of pictures and wear that damn shirt!!! It looks hot, you goon.
2. I am so thankful for all of the minutes you’ve dedicated to me. I always worry that I won’t be able to repay you for them. If our phone calls aren’t 50:50, you:me, I stress out.
3. Each year that goes by where we remain friends, I love you even more. No matter if we’re one mile or 1,000 miles apart, each year of friendship keeps getting better and better. I hope I have proven myself to you the way you have proven yourself to me, even though you never even needed to.
4. I wouldn’t have made it through the first year of my career without you. Thank you so much for letting me sit in your cube and cry in your stairwell; thank you for bringing me Chic-Fil-A breakfast that morning after I drank a bit too much.
5. Your honesty once saved my life. Not physically, but it did save me emotionally. I would have lost five people very close to me without your harsh, blunt and totally necessary intervention.
6. It haunts me that I took you for granted. I think it took some distance from you to make me snap out of it, and this is something that will haunt me for a while. Though this is no excuse, just know: The moments I treated you badly were the moments I hated myself most.
7. The guys you date are the luckiest guys in the world. Most of them know that too. The ones who don’t I will hate for eternity unless they own up to their mistakes and prove their love to you in a grandiose, sickeningly romantic way.
You — the one who has yet to have a boyfriend — you never needed it and you’re stronger than everyone because of it. Although I bet it has been tough at times, please don’t ever take a lack of romantic relationships as a measurement of your worth.
8. I’m really sorry for making out with the guy you liked senior year. It still makes me feel uneasy.
9. It really hurt when you made out with the guy I liked junior year. It still makes me feel uneasy.
10. It would devastate me if you didn’t continue to be in my life. Hearing stories of people leaving their friends behind and meeting as strangers later in life pains me. It is bound to happen, but I hope it doesn’t. I want you as a bridesmaid, as an honorary aunt and as a rocking chair buddy in a big house overlooking the ocean.
11. I love your family like my own. I’m so grateful for their kindness to me. To my childhood friends: your siblings helped toughen me up and your parents helped raise me (even to this day, Mrs. B).
To those that came later in life: your family provided me with a home-away-from-home and I often wonder if I would have survived the distance without them.
12. I love you like family. I will murder anyone who hurts you; in fact, I’ve given so many secret death stares to your enemies it would freak you out. I don’t have biological sisters, but I have never needed them because of you.
13. You are the only reason I miss high school. The nights the five of us sat outside with a bottle of wine and a pack of Parliaments, talking until 5 a.m., laughing until 5 a.m., or crying until 5 a.m., were the best nights of my life.
14. I’m so excited to see the things you do with your life. You are brilliant in a way that’s different from anyone else. Although we’re just beginning our long careers, I know yours will take you far. Scratch that — I know YOU will take yours far. Even if it’s a small piece of the world, you are going to change it. You inspire me.
15. I hate your boyfriend. But you already knew that.