To Emily

Happy 21st Birthday! Thank you for being a special friend to me for the past 5 years. You came to me at a low point in my adolescence and showed me there are more things to be looking forward to and to be laughing about than things to be upset over. You make me a happier person and I love the many beautiful parts about you.

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I love how honest you are and how you bring that into our friendship. I love how accepting you are of me and my mistakes, and the feeling of freedom you give me to be myself. I love how you love cats even though I don’t. I love how we can laugh so long at nothing. Most of all, I love your compassion and your bravery.

Your compassionate nature shows in your dream of being a nurse. It can be seen in between the words you write about your hospital practicums and it can be heard when you talk about your experiences. Even more evidently, I can see and hear and feel your compassion in our friendship.

I remember one time our argument led to a strange discussion on how we look out for each other. I remember thinking it was silly of us to suddenly be arguing about how much we care about each other. I think about this and I realize I’ve had several disagreements with you before, but they always resulted in apologies and forgiveness. When we first met in high school, I thought we were similar in the sense that we both valued school and desired a better future for ourselves. As the years went on, I started to see that we are very different individuals with some vastly opposite experiences that shape our current perspectives. Even so, I always remember feeling thankful to you for being able to put down your perspective for a moment in order to take a look through mine.

You are compassionate in your patience with my stubbornness. You help me look past my ego and my desire to be “right” and onto what is fundamentally more important: the other person and the relationship. You teach me how to be a better friend and a kinder person and I love you for that.

I believe your compassion and bravery goes hand-in-hand. You are kind because you are brave. You are brave for following your dreams and you are brave for living life with your heart on your sleeve. I have said this in the past and I still stand by it today- you are brave because you allow yourself to be in a possible state of hurt. Even if you undergo a painful experience, it does not stop you from trying again. I admire your inner strength and perseverance.

You are someone I feel grateful and indebted to. I will always wish for your happiness because you deserve nothing but that. Thank you for teaching me about friendship and love. Congratulations to 21 years of happiness, struggles, laughter, tears, love, and dreams.

Below is one of her favorite quotes:

Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when that person looks back – and at some point everyone looks back – she will hear her heart saying, “What have you done with the miracles that God planted in your days? What have you done with the talents God bestowed on you? You buried yourself in a cave because you were fearful of losing those talents. So this is your heritage; the certainty that you wasted your life.

– Paulo Coelho

Sincerely,

Loewe

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To Loewe:

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