" I have been sitting here racking my brain trying to pinpoint one moment, one singular story that I could share that would capture the essence of Lindsay and how much her, and our friendship meant to me. Unfortunately, or should I say fortunately, I can’t narrow it down to just one story or a single moment. So, instead to celebrate Lindsay’s Birthday I have chosen to write a letter to her filled with all the things I wish I could have said to her.
First of all, I want to wish you a Happy Birthday. If I am sure of anything at all it is that you’re up in Heaven, sporting the most fashionable clothing, rocking the most incredible accessories, and celebrating your birthday with the other badass angels. I would expect nothing less from you. I can’t believe it has been 7 years since we met. I remember meeting you during one of those wretched volleyball summer workouts in 2004. It must have been 7am when we both sulked up to Harris stadium for one of Coach Dennison’s killer two-hour workouts. Well, killer for me at least, seeing as you took much fewer and shorter water breaks than I ever did. But, that being said I can’t tell you how glad I am that between the sprints, lunges, timed mile runs, and weight lifting that you and I became such fast friends. I was so happy to have found a friend, who was not only taller than me, but also shared in my hatred of “towering” over most every boy at Chagrin Falls High School. Honestly, as sad and pathetic as this may be to admit, I thought you were just about the coolest person ever. Me, a lowly, lost freshman couldn’t have felt more privileged to have you as my “senior buddy.”
I looked up more to you than you will ever know, and I am beyond lucky to have had you take me under your wing. I can’t tell you how honored I feel to have been introduced as your little sister. You were such an amazing person; and, way too modest if you ask me. Even though we were separated by many grades, and were only were in school together for one year, you left such a permanent mark on my life.
I envied your beauty, it was so effortless and natural. For the many that loved you I know with your death comes the fear of forgetting––forgetting the sound of your voice, forgetting how you smelled, forgetting details of the moments they shared with you, but the one thing that can jog everyone’s memory is your smile. You brought laughter to so many lives with your sarcastic humor, and with that humor you brought your smile. A big smile that spanned across your whole face and nearly closed your eyes, and no one can forget how beautiful you looked when you smiled or laughed. That type of beauty can’t be attained no matter how much makeup someone applies or how much someone spends on an outfit, for that I will always think of you as one the most stunning individuals I have ever known.
I was inspired by your intelligence. In newspaper, volleyball, on a peer care retreat, or during a light conversation you somehow, without any effort, sounded intelligent. But, you never threw your incredible brainpower into anyone’s face. Most with a perfect ACT score, or an acceptance to Duke would not be able to help but brag a little, but not you, you always remained modest and down-to-earth. This made you even more intelligent in my eyes I can’t help but to say how incredibly sad and angry I am that you could not have lived longer, for I know that your intellect and insights into life could have made an enormous impact on this world. I will always be sorry for this. You were truly gifted in so many ways.
I was moved by your strength, compassion, and selflessness. During the peer care retreat I distinctly remember how much you allowed yourself to feel. The weekend called for people to share intimate details about their lives, to offer stories about difficult times, and to discuss uncomfortable topics. You, being president of the club, lead each conversation with grace, and with each story that was shared, no matter its seriousness, you felt sympathy for that person. When I told you of problems in my life you gave me a huge hug , told me that you loved me, and reassured me that everything would be ok. In life having kind, sympathetic people like you for friends’ means so much, actually it means everything. As I have gotten older one thing I continue to come across are selfish people. People who are consumed with their own happiness, and who give little consideration to the pains of others. Even during your terrifying, difficult battle with cancer, a time where one should be selfish, you were stronger and more caring than ever. Instead of letting the disease consume you and destroy your spirit, you held events and fundraisers not only help find a cure for yourself, but also for others who shared in your pain. Your strength, your compassion, your selflessness, your courage, and your kindness are moving ,and you will forever be remembered for these things.
I was touched by your love. Every Blossom, or any occasion, where I knew I would see you I got so excited. Every time we saw each other, no matter how long it had been, we acted like it had been ten years. Every one of our reunions included a 10-minute hug, which I am mostly responsible for, and you telling me how beautiful I looked, how happy you were to see me, and how great of a person you thought I was. Naturally, I reciprocated all these same sentiments, but to hear those things come out of your mouth meant the world to me. In one of your facebook messages to me you wrote, “ just wanted to let you know that 1. you are really an awesome, strong person. keep up the good work. also, 2. you can’t get out of being my little sister so easily! dont ever think that I will forget you.” You always made me feel so loved. I look forward to the day when we see each other again and engage in our typical ten-minute hug and long conversation. You were not only my role model and my “pseudo” big sister, but you were, and always will be one of my heroes.
There’s so much more I could say, but I fear no words will ever do justice to you, our friendship, or your life. Words, although powerful, will never be enough to describe who you were, how you lived, and the way you treated others. For those who knew you and loved you, I know they share in my struggles to attempt to conjure up the right string of sentences to illustrate the beautiful person you were. Lindsay, you lead an amazing, unforgettable, and truly inspiring life. When thinking about death many worry that they will not have left a legacy, or have lived a life not worth remembering, but you Lindsay left a legacy, which will forever change the lives of those you touched. I feel extremely blessed to have known you and to have experienced the joys of being your “little sister.” I can’t tell you how much you are and will continue to be missed. Being the person that I am, I try to find the best even in the worst of situations. From your death, I have learned the importance of living my life with conviction, I have learned not do something unless I am going to put my whole heart into it, I have learned to care about others with everything I have, I have learned that in life nothing is guaranteed, so don’t waste my time with anger or selfishness, I have learned how one life can have such an immense impact on so many people, and I have learned about the value and importance of friendship. Lindsay, thank you for everything. I love you.
-“Your Little Sister”"