The Good Die Young

Scrolling through Facebook a lump finds its way to my throat on what seems to be an every-other-day basis. The lump isn’t one that’s created at the sight of an abandoned puppy or that of a sad scenario facing one of our coasts after a devastating hurricane. Rather, it’s typically something, or someone, that’s a little closer to home.

In the most recent past months I have seen a few too many “tribute” and “memorial” posts made on social media platforms for a few too many young people. It breaks my heart on a multitude of levels to know that so many people my age and younger have moved on to their next stage of life, a life that causes them to leave their earthly lives with all of us behind. It is with great sadness that I can relate to the siblings that have lost their brother or sister far too early in life. It is with great happiness that I can, on occasion, make a simple statement that perhaps makes the difficult time slightly easier for some.

I don’t hold the answers to all of life’s problems and I most certainly don’t hold the “right words” for times such as these. But perhaps, the words I’ve found on my heart this evening can impact the way each of us appreciate our own lives and the lives of those that are unfortunately foregone.

The earthly lives of so many young people are cut short by the standard we all find ourselves setting day in and day out. This might sound a little harsh but it’s how I think most of us feel. We expect to one day come home and hear the news that one of our grandparents have passed or that the old man who used to be our bus driver in kindergarten has a funeral visitation set for Wednesday night. But we never expect the 2:30 in the morning wake up call that one of our brothers or sisters have passed. We don’t expect to see the obituary of an underclassmen pop up on Facebook. We don’t expect to wake up the following morning with one less sibling in the house. We just don’t expect to lose people at a young age. Because well, that’s not how life is supposed to work. Or is it?

We all have these ideals that people are supposed to live until they’re “old” and that a life cut short must mean that “it was their time to go”. While both of those statements are so easy to say, they’re often much harder to believe, let alone accept.

No matter the age we lose someone there’s so many emotions that must be faced.

It’s the accepting of the “lasts” to me that was the hardest when losing my brother, another person gone too soon. When I think of the last Christmas we shared together, the last words we had spoken to one another, the last time I clutched his hand, all of the “lasts” seem to flood my memory at once and cause an indescribable ache in the heart and a wave of nausea. Those feelings never pass. Or at least they haven’t for me.

Perhaps those feelings are the most difficult to accept when they hit. Because when you consider the “lasts” it means there are “no more” to come.

I sincerely believe the “lasts” are the most difficult of things to accept when it comes to losing a young one. Mainly because they were never expected. A heart cannot prepare for losing someone young because even if it’s a diagnosis that says one will only live to be 12 or 22, that’s just not supposed to be the way life works. Or is it?

I have now said that a couple of times because in the last few years that I’ve gone unguided on how to deal with loss I’ve developed my own views on why “the good die young”.

Perhaps the good die young not because “it was their time” or that because “their purpose was fulfilled”. But perhaps they pass because it’s not either of those things. Perhaps they leave their earthly lives behind because they’re not meant to truly die.

As we all pass I believe we leave something behind. Perhaps we leave specific traditions to be followed for years to come or maybe we simply leave a little “catchphrase” behind to be said from time to time and as the words trickle off the tongues of those we’ve left behind a smile is drawn across their face, while their heart smiles equally as big. Whatever it is we leave behind, no matter WHEN we leave, we all leave some sort of legacy behind.

I don’t mean to minimize the importance of those who do live to see 80 or older, but I do, however, mean to magnify the significance that lives cut short have on each of us.

It was just a few short months ago that one of my dear friends lost her brother to a car accident. It was one of the first passings of a young person, since my brother Andrew, that truly “slapped me in the face” for a lack of better words.

Blaze was one of the most beautiful people I had ever met. He spoke with conviction when he talked about his love for ALL people, something that is rare these days. Blaze and I didn’t talk often but when we did it was in the form of Instagram comments or funny Christmas cards. He was maybe one of the youngest people I’d felt a connection to that had passed away, other than my brother. He lived states away and I only hung out with him in person a handful of times, but somehow I felt connected to him on a level that still surpasses my understanding. But with his passing, I truly accepted the statement that “the good die young”.

When I reflect back upon all the memories I have shared with those who have passed young, no matter how significant my relationship was with that individual, I truly believe that my heart is more beautiful for meeting each of them.

Each young soul my heart has passed, I’ve ALWAYS wished there was more of “something” in the world each of them offered. Whether it’s been the contagious smile of one, the profound confidence of another, or the recognizable, from a mile away, yet undeniably genuine laugh of someone else, there’s something about each of them that made the world we live in a lot more beautiful.

Those unique characteristics that each young soul shared with the world are the very attributes that allow them to live on forever; because as those of us who remain on earth live each day, those who have left us behind live to see another day, not in an earthly sense but in our hearts.

The lives that leave us far too soon, while cut far too short, have never lacked in purpose or meaning.

The Lord knows exactly what He’s doing when He places certain people in our lives and in the paths of the people the young meet. It is with profound conviction, I believe that everyone who crosses the life of a young one to go too soon, feels some sort of profound appreciation for life.

Because of those that leave us too soon, I feel that each of us feel like better people for having had the blessing to have known them. I feel that because of those that leave us too soon, the world ultimately ends up being more beautiful. Not because they’re gone. But because they live on.

With the people I reflect back on and realize have left us far too soon, I know that The Lord makes the most perfect of angels to leave the ways of His abundant love as permanent prints on the hearts of all they cross and sometimes, He calls those angels home a little too early.

While I know this is a hard belief to grasp, I believe the life that awaits all of us, whether we pass at 80 or 18 is not a temporary one, and it’s not just an eternal one, but a perfect one.
And because of that, I know the good die young because the good, while young, deserve a life that never ceases and a life that never disappoints.

Looking forward to the day I see all of the young again,

D

 

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To my friend Blaze and brother Andrew, thank you for showing me how beautiful life is—just for being a part, even if cut short, of my life. You both are missed and while gone, you still live on. I promise.

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When You Give a Girl a Big Heart

When you give a girl a big heart…

“The girl with a big heart looks for angels in demons; with a golden heart, her love is refreshing. Her soul is pure. She’s everything that might just take the burn out of hell, a breath of angelic air that might just coax the devil to take the trip to heaven.”  

~ Hurricane D-Ray

When you give a girl a big heart strength abounds.

When you give a girl a big heart she’s perhaps the softest, yet toughest girl in the room. She’s the anomaly that no one quite understands, yet everyone longs to know. She’s the girl who adorns both grit and grace equally well as if both cuts and jewels. She knows that in a world that praises people for being cold hearted, she’s the outsider looking in. She’s the one that analyzes how the world can feel so little, only capable of imagining what it might be like if just for a day she could feel a little less, care a little less, and hurt a little less. Yet, everyday she wakes up and chooses to be the woman who fearlessly and selflessly loves everyone she comes in contact with.

While her softness is a beauty in its own, it is not to be mistaken for weakness. When you give a woman a big heart you secretly fill a delicate, beautiful teacup with a shot of whiskey. She’s strong, yet delicate to the eye. Just like the teacup isn’t expected to pack a punch, neither is the girl with the big heart. You never know exactly what the girl with a big heart is holding within. But if you should ever find out, like the whiskey in a teacup offers a beautiful burn, her inner-strength will satisfyingly stun you. If you should ever find yourself in love with her, it won’t take much to find yourself madly, deeply, intoxicated by the ways of her courageous heart.

Women with big hearts suffer through the pains of life gracefully. Women with big hearts know what it’s like to have to continually rebuild broken objects, like that of her own heart, time and time again, knowing damn good and well it’ll only be broken yet again. Girls with big hearts know exactly what it’s like to be disappointed and let down over and over again, simply because big hearted women give too many chances to people no one else would dare to offer.

To walk into a fire knowing you’re going to get burnt may be seen as ignorant to most. To the big hearted woman, walking into a fire means you have the potential to save someone. As every day passes she not only knows the pain of seeing someone in a less fortunate state, she feels it. When you give a girl a big heart, she feels everything within the webs of her inner fibers, all the way to her inner-most core. 

She very well knows that she could isolate her heart and not feel as much pain. She very well knows that if she didn’t offer so many chances her heart wouldn’t ache nearly as much. She knows very well that even though many dub her as ignorant, there’s someone out there that needs her big, open, faithful heart. The one person she can help is worth the hundreds believing her to be ignorant or weak. The girl with the big heart believes in saving people not because it saves them, but because in the end, it saves her. When you give a girl a big heart you give her the ability to find enjoyment in offering pieces of herself to the world. In seeing the slightest bit of happiness in another, the girl with the big heart’s own heart is renewed and her spirit saved.

When you give a girl a big heart you give her the ability to light up a room by walking in, the ability to mend broken hearts, but most importantly you give her the ability to change the world for the better simply by being in it.

des laugh

 

 

To a Tired Heart

To the One with a Tired Heart,

I know what it’s like to want to give up. I know that feeling more than anything, especially right now. No matter the cause for the feeling, just know you can’t give up. If it’s a situation that is wearing your heart out, I hope you understand that walking away is far different than giving up.

To give up means that you no longer take control of your situation, your mentality, or your happiness. No matter how difficult the road you’re walking is, please never give up. You’re a beautiful person with an even more beautiful heart. It’s okay to say you’re worn out. It’s okay to say you’re tired. In being brutally honest with yourself and those around you, there’s strength. In faith, there’s even greater strength.

In life we are all forced to face a variety of challenges, some of us may feel like we’re forced to face more than others. That may be true. But no matter the toughness of the challenge at hand, you’re tougher. Whether it’s relationship issues with a significant other, financial issues, or struggling to come to terms with the passing of a loved one, there’s so much more to life than the difficult cards we are dealt.

No one in life is dealt a royal flush. This means the cards we are dealt are often difficult to play and there’s good reason for that. The cards we are dealt expire every 24 hours. We have the choice to make the best of whatever we are going through every single day. Sure, I’m sure you’re wondering how I can say that the cards we are dealt expire every 24 hours because some obstacles we face can last for days, months, even years. This is true. Sometimes we are dealt the same crappy card every single day. But every day that we wake up to face another day I also know we are dealt at least one good card. We are dealt the card of “life”. We are dealt the very card the provides our existence and because of that, there’s reason to have faith in a greater plan. Because of the fact we live to wake up another day, we have the opportunity to view the cards in our hands as we wish.

We can either allow those cards to determine how our day is going to go or we can determine how we are going to view those cards in our grip.

I wouldn’t be writing this blog if I wasn’t dealt some crappy cards today. But I also know even the WORST card sitting in my hand right now is nothing in comparison to that card of “life” sitting in my hand.

My heart is tired because I’ve been dealt one monster of a card every single day since my Papaw, my best friend, my everything passed away back in June. But I also know that I was dealt that card every single day for a reason. It’s taken me a long time to determine just how to view that card in a positive light, but at the end of today, I’ll lay my head down knowing I made it. I’ve made it because I refuse to give up. I made it because I have decided to change my outlook regarding that one asshole card, to a positive one.

Focus on the great one we receive everyday. That one special card is “life”, meaning our purpose here on earth has yet to be fulfilled. No matter the “monsters” of cards sitting in your hand, don’t fold. Ever.

I say that in confidence because I’d be willing to bet my very last dollar on the belief that God’s in control. He’s in control of every hand we are dealt, every single day. The only thing we have control over is how we react.

Find energy in your broken-heartedness. Find that energy through your faith. If you do, that tired heart of yours will quickly become a clean one with a renewed right spirit. I promise.

Playing my Cards Faithfully,

D ❤

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Papaw: Thank you for showing me what it meant to have faith through your everyday example, even with a tired heart.

 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit within me.” 

To Live a Year Without You

Bub,

To live a year without you, isn’t quite as literal as it sounds. I say that because I haven’t lived a year without you. If I had, that’d mean you were actually gone. But the thing is, you’re not.

You’re still here. You’re still here in every single one of us.Your physical presence may be missing. But your spirit? I believe it to still be here and very much alive.

If there ever was anything I’d hoped of myself it was always to make you proud. You were my first best friend and arguably the biggest pain in my ass growing up.

You were the best brother a girl could ask for.

Just as I told the crowd at your celebration of life, you always wanted to make sure I was the toughest girl in the world. You always wanted to make sure that the boys were afraid of me.I think it’s fair to say you’ve succeeded in that, as I’m STILL single. (LOL). Whether it was wrestling on Sunday nights or fouling me as hard as you could playing basketball, I somehow always stood back up. I may have had tears rolling down my face, but if there was anything I could make a solid bet on with you around, it was that if I were ever knocked down I wouldn’t ever let you see me stay down.

To this day, I’m still the same way. I may not be getting knocked down by boys bigger than me playing basketball at recess anymore and I may not be getting bruises the size of Texas from you anymore, but no matter what hits me in life, I always make sure to stand up, grit my teeth a little harder, and eventually put a smile on my face, altering my perspective. You really were the first person to teach me to find pride in grit and toughness.

You live on through me every time life knocks me down. Because of you, I know I must stand up. I must carry on. I really hope I’m making you proud, Drew.

But to live a year without you, has been a year with a few less laughs. A year with a LOT less brotherly/sisterly arguments. It’s been a year of longing, longing to give you the tightest bear hug. You always told me, I gave the best hugs. Probably because I was the only girl that when I gave you a squeeze, I made sure your feet weren’t on the ground anymore. It’s been a year of wishing to go to Santa Fe on a Friday night, drink a margarita while you drink a Corona and have you give me little pep talks about how boys are stupid and one day I’ll make a guy the luckiest guy in the world. I’ve scraped my plate at dinner the last year wishing you were pestering me on purpose by chewing with your mouth open or slurping your soup as you look over at me, distress on my face, only for you to laugh. To live a year without you means I’ve handed out one less ass-whooping at corn hole and that’s unfortunate. To live without you a year in physical presence has been a year of some tears here and there, but most importantly your lack of physical presence here has served as a mirror for me.

The mirror you’ve created for me is one that when I look at myself, I now know what my duties here on earth are. My duty is to spread love and positivity anytime and anywhere. The world needs more of that and your life truly showed me that. I’ll never forget when you told me, “the world would be a much better place if we all had a few more Des’s in our lives.” There may not be another Des, quite like me, here on earth but I can only try to give more of myself to others. For if I do, that means they’re getting a little piece of you too. For if everyone gets a little piece of you, you’ll never, ever be truly gone.

Mark my words Drew, although you’re gone

You will live on.

Fair Winds & Following Seas,

Des ♥

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7 Misconceptions about the “Forever Single” Girl

  • She’s desperate.

Let me put this belief to rest for you. In most cases girls that have been single for an extended period of time aren’t desperate. They are actually far from it. They are content in who they are as people and until they find someone that makes them want to be better women or brings more happiness, they will remain alone. In short, if they don’t envision life with you as an improvement, they’re most certainly not going to settle for any Tom, Dick, or Harry just ‘cause they’re “desperate” and need some male attention.

  • She’s crazy.

Why is a beautiful girl single? Everyone automatically assumes she’s a lunatic waiting for a one way ticket to the looney bin. While I’ve seen this to be true in some cases, most of the craziest girls I know bounce from guy to guy because they need some sort of distraction to keep their crazy somewhat contained or because they thrive on being crazy and men are the perfect excuse to behave in erratic behavior.

  • She’ll go on a date with anyone.

Being a long-term single gal myself, I can’t tell you the number of times people try to set me up on dates with people. It’s as if I’m incapable of finding a date for myself. Newsflash, if I wanted to go on a date with  just anyone I’d go out with one of the twenty-six weird guys inboxing me every day on Facebook. The reality is, I don’t really want to go out on a date with anyone. I’m focusing on me for the time being and until someone spectacular makes me want to place my priorities elsewhere, I’ll continue to turn down the dates that approach me or the dates others are trying to set me up on.

  • She’ll be chompin’ at the bit to get back in the saddle again.

No girl that’s been single for a long time will be rearing to go out on a date or start talking to a new guy. If she is, revert back to number 1—she might be a desperate one. A girl that’s been single for a long time finds comfort in her independence and has built up a lot of walls over time. So the idea of letting someone in isn’t necessarily the most thrilling of concepts. It’s terrifying. So don’t be shocked if she turns you down a time or ten when you ask her to dinner and definitely don’t take it personally. Persistence will be key with a girl that’s been single for a while.

  • She’ll be easy.

You might be a special kind of stupid if you think a girl that’s been single for a long time will be easy. Sorry not sorry. An independent woman will equate someone worthy of her time to someone who is willing to put in effort and willing to wait the long haul before taking things to the next level. The longer a gal has been single, the longer you’d better be willing to wait and the harder you’d better be willing to work for it. (If she’s easy, she’s desperate and don’t pat yourself on the back for winning that one.)

  • She doesn’t want to get married or have children.

Women that have been single for more than a year don’t long to be alone for the rest of their lives. They simply don’t believe in dating to pass the time. They believe in dating someone who they can potentially marry one day and potentially raise a family with. If you don’t fit into that picture, single she’ll remain.

  • She’s undesirable.

False.  She’s not undesirable; she’s untouchable. There’s a key difference to this piece. She’s untouchable because a girl that’s been single for a long time believes in herself and knows her worth. She’s able to work a room, make friends, entertain, and support herself all on her own. She doesn’t need a man to validate the sunshine she can bring into a cloudy room. She doesn’t need a man to verify her desirability. And she most certainly doesn’t need a man to confirm her worthiness because simple as it is, she does that all on her own.

 

If you should ever find yourself wanting to date the girl that’s been single forever remember: you better bring a lot to the table because a girl like her knows what she brings to the table and she’ll never be afraid to eat alone.

 

Signed,

A “Forever Single” Girl

D ♥


 

To the One Struggling to Find Peace in “Single”

To the One Struggling to Find Peace in “Single”,

I know that it seems pitiful having to find peace in something as simple as being single. I know how difficult it can be to admit that being single makes you a little sad from time to time. There’s no shame in that. If anything, I find that absolutely beautiful and honorable. There’s a longing within you that wants to give the best parts of yourself to someone else. You’re wishing to enter a companionship that could potentially break every inch of you as a being, that’s courageous, that’s admirable. Don’t think less of yourself for struggling through the inner battle with being single because there’s a lot of complexity in the concept of being single, especially in today’s age when Facebook relationship statuses are abundant, pregnancy announcements plentiful, and engagement pictures copious.

The images we see on social media, the envelopes we receive in the mail inviting us to share in the celebration of our best friend’s wedding day, or even the Nicolas Spark novels we read can result in a poignant longing for something we don’t have, a mate. It can create a complicated mess of emotions within our spirits. For instance, there’s the idea of not being good enough; the belief that there’s something wrong with you; the vision that you might be single forever haunts you; the longing for children in the future is painstaking. I get it. I really do.

But, I don’t care if you’re 16, 18, 22, 28, 32, or even 40 my biggest hope for you is that you realize there’s a purpose for your lack of a significant other.

When you struggle to swallow the pill that is prescribed single, I hope you can focus on who prescribed you that pill. The Lord is the prescribing doctor. It’s not because you’re not “good enough”that He’s prescribed such pill. It’ll never be because you’re not “pretty or handsome enough”. It’s because The Lord is working through you in the single state that you are with great purpose. There’s a reason you’re single far greater than an earthly matter such as someone’s opinion of you or their lack to see your value. We may never know or fully understand the reasoning behind why we are single when we are, just as we may never see it coming when in The Lord’s perfect timing He finally plants someone in our lives to change the state of our singleness.

If I’ve learned anything, while I may not “understand” it, it is that in His timing everything is perfect and well.

I truly believe that when one is fully capable of nurturing and caring for a budding relationship in a Godly manner, with 100% dedication, that, that is when we will find someone planted in our lives by Him. This does not mean that you’re single because you’re incapable of doing so. I think this means that The Lord wants your sights and focus on Him or in another matter greater than yourself and your relationship status.

The key to finding peace in being single isn’t to question it. It is to accept it and find contentment in the plans The Lord has for you. If being single is the toughest pill I’m swallowing, out of ALL the pills life and The Lord prescribes me, I feel as if I’m doing pretty daggone good and so should you.

With every statement I make, there’s a disclaimer. With that being said, just because you’re single doesn’t mean that past relationships have failed because you’re incapable of nurturing it or that you’re foolish. I believe this means that relationship wasn’t the exact love potion God doctored up for you. There’s no greater beauty than in a relationship planted by The Lord. For in my mind, if it’s planted by the Lord I don’t think there’s any earthly matter capable of destroying it, as long as we continually feed, nurture, and care for it with its creator being our number 1 priority.

I truly think that if in everything we do, relationships included, we seek The Lord that there is no greater peace available.

 

You should be content with where the Lord has you in life.  It’s for a darn good reason! It may not make any sense to you right now, but it’s for a purpose that you and I are both single. Don’t lose sight of the concept that His plan is perfect and will reveal itself when the timing is meant to be.

Seek contentment in His plans.

Find peace in Him.

Through Him, you will find peace in being single.

In ending, don’t lose faith in Him or His plans just because the cards He’s dealing aren’t falling when you think they should. Play the cards dealt to you with faith and I’m sure the cards will return ten-fold what they’re meant to.

 

Remain faithful in all that you do.

Constantly seeking His peace,

D ♥

 

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To the Guy Who Sends “Hey”

Dear Mr. “Hey”,

I really appreciate the thought you offer from time to time. It really means a lot to me that you think about me every now and again. It’s especially heartwarming to know you wonder how I’m doing. So I’m going to tell you how I’m doing.

I’m doing great, better than ever actually. And I’ll be that way the next 25 times you decide to text me, as well. So save yourself the 30 seconds of your bullshit time and text someone else…like maybe your girlfriend. Because you see, unlike you, I don’t have the urge to text someone I used to talk to every day while I’m in a relationship, that while to you, may be phony is very real to a sweet girl. I don’t have a beautiful “significant other” (it’s saddening she considers you one) posting pictures with me and showing me off to the world WHILE I entertain the thought of someone else, even if it’s in the slightest bit of a series of text messages that go something like this:

You- “Hey”

Me- “uhm…hey?”

You- “How are you?”

Me- “I’m doing great. You?”

You- “I am ok”

See, that’s the difference between you and I. I actually am doing great. I’m not out seeking enjoyment in the idea of seeing if a girl that used to love me will respond to a simple “Hey” text. I’ve been busy the last few months that I’ve not spoken to you, entertaining the thought and seeking enjoyment in the people that talk to me every day and genuinely care about “how I’m doing”. You see, if you REALLY knew me you wouldn’t even have to ask how I’m doing because you’d already know.

You’d know that although I am doing great, I struggle every single day to not text you when you happen to drive by my office. You’d know that since my Papaw passed away I’ve been the saddest I’ve ever been. You’d also know that I’m doing just fine without you. But that’s the thing. You don’t know these things. You don’t know these things because you’ve not been in my life the last few months. If you REALLY knew me, you would’ve realized that I chose not to speak to you at a public function because I had far too much respect for the pretty girl you had with you. You didn’t even offer her that amount of respect. Instead you uttered, “Oh. So you can’t even say hi?” to me as if I owed you even a “hello”. I should’ve told you to go straight to where you came from, and I don’t think I have to get any more specific on just where that’s located. But instead, I smiled and said “hey” and turned around and walked the other way even though you were standing with some lovely people I would’ve loved nothing more than to chit chat with for a few minutes. If you ever knew the girl you claimed to love, in those very moments you decided to be a glorified douchelord, you would’ve known that I was a stronger female than you bargained for, one capable of creating a life that doesn’t involve you anymore. You’d know I can listen to songs that we used to listen to together without a single tear shed. But above all else, if you actually knew anything about me, you’d know that while I loved you at one point and time, and perhaps still do, I’ve accepted that I was trying to give you the love I deserved. I longed for what I deserved when it came to loving you and the only thing you’ve proven to me is that I wanted that from the wrong person. They say one of two things eventually happen; people like you will eventually realize I’m worth it or girls like me will realize you never were worth it. I think they’re wrong.

While YOU may not have been worth it, the experience was.

While I can be eloquent sometimes and offer some pretty great advice here’s something that I should’ve said a long time ago:

Take that next “hey” text message and send it to a girl that cares…or shove it up your ass.

Either way, until you realize how ignorant you are or how undeserving of a girl like me, or even the one you’re with, you are, you’ll never change. And until YOU decide to change, I want nothing to do with you.

While once upon a time that made me question my self worth, I hope it makes you question yours. Because if it does, maybe just MAYBE you’ll pull your head out of your ass far enough to realize what you missed with me and what you’ll miss with the great girl standing next to you now, or even the one that comes after that.

In closing, just because I may be a girl that’ll always see “the light” in you doesn’t mean I deserve to sit blindly by in the darkness as you try to find the light within yourself.

 

Maybe some day you’ll be as good as I think you are capable of being,

 

D ♥

 

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