A Letter of Thanks and Love

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**For more information on the prompt that inspired this piece please visit here**

 

To my best friend, my soul mate,

Danielle—

I arrived at Saxon Suites breathless and sweaty, hair frizzed and hands full of luggage—not the prettiest sight. (After a summer in couch potato paradise, I was clearly unprepared for the monstrous hill leading up to the dorms.) Regardless, you welcomed me as if I were a star, your mouth blooming into a heart-shaped smile, eyes twinkling, voice singing

“Hi! I’m Danielle, your roommate!”

That first day, we stayed up until the late hours of the night, sharing with one another our stories of love and heartbreak, friendships and family, illustrating for one another an honest and detailed portrait of who we were and who we wished to be. We skipped over small talk, leaping into one another’s vulnerability. And it was this kind of genuineness and openness that paved the way for the beautiful and irreplaceable friendship that we have had for the past two years, and that we will continue to have for many, many more.

Danielle, you are one of the most incredible human beings whom I have ever met in my entire life. That may be a grand statement, yes, but it is not at all an exaggeration. You are astonishingly beautiful, unbelievably kind, and exceptionally passionate. And you are strong. You have demonstrated to me how far perseverance can take us, how a seed of hope can blossom into a world of triumph and dreams-come-true. Not to mention, you have within your mind a colorful world of knowledge and wisdom that I have had the honor of exploring through our conversations. Every day, you enrich my life with beauty and vigor, and for that, I am so very grateful.

I cannot even imagine what my UCLA experience would have been like without you. In such a huge institution, where it is so easy to feel anonymous and dehumanized, our friendship reminds me of my humanness. Our friendship reminds me of my uniqueness, my significance. It reminds me that I actually have the power to influence other people’s lives—and the extent to which others can influence my life. What I do, what I say, what I feel—it all matters. I actually…matter. Danielle, you have done so much to empower me, to help me achieve self-confidence and self-discovery. You’ve offered me so much support, so much love, and so much wisdom, patiently guiding me through heartache, rejection, and disappointment—as well as happiness, love, and excitement. I cannot thank you enough.

It is indeed a daunting task to thank you for being everything that you are in words that do you justice. I may be an English major, I may be a self-proclaimed writer, but not even I can muster up words that are as beautiful as the friendship that you have given me.

So, for now, I will say this:

Thank you for every single one of your smiles, every single one of your words, and every single one of your hugs.

I love all of you.

Even your sneezes.

(Bless you, darling.)

Love Always,

JoAnna

 

Post submitted by JoAnna

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