Even though this isn’t very long, it’s taken me weeks to write this because of emotion. And it may only be meaningful to one person, but that’s all I’m aiming for. This is for Lori.
My dear Lori:
You’re leaving in a few days, bound for California. More than that, you’re bound for a new start, a refreshed life. I’m not sad. I’m ecstatic! I can hardly wait to see what you do and the life you create. You are not simply a woman. You are a force, and when the smallest opportunity presents itself, I know you’re going to take it and fly with it. And know that you’re not leaving behind… you’re taking with.
Thank you for standing back up and continuing to live. I know you’ll say that you had no other choice. You had to do it for your girls, for your mom, for your brothers. You had to do it because there was no one else to helm the ship. But you could just as easily have stayed on the floor, curled in a ball. Someone would have stepped in, but the result would have been disastrous. Your girls will be better women because you stood up and took a step forward each day. It has been my honor to help you hold the wheel when you felt tired.
I wish I could make this letter longer, but the fact is, I'm not telling you goodbye. You're not leaving me or our friendship. You're simply moving on to the next chapter, and I'm staying around for the entire book. Everything else that I want to say here can be said simply in the next few sentences.
You are the definition of ‘friend’. Thank you for seeing things in me that I did not see, and sometimes still have trouble seeing, in myself, and for not letting up until I opened my eyes. You are truly ones of my heroes. You are a blessing, an inspiration, and a role model. I love you.