I first met my friend Kylee during college. My first introduction to her happened in a communications class. I only knew her from afar and a simple observation of the short-haired spit-fire she was at the time, made it clear that she was a STRONG woman. Over time, our worlds merged and she was among one of “the girls” of whom I am so proud to be a part. And the strength that I thought I saw in that young woman so many years ago, has only proven to grow with each passing year.
I’ve sat here for quite some time trying to find just the right words to express how I feel about my friend Kylee and how I feel about her family. You see, in this instance, I am utterly aware that as much as I love words, sometimes, words simply can’t contain the weight of some feelings. Tonight, words are failing me to describe how much I love and appreciate this family. So, instead of writing about them, the only thing I know to do is to write to them. . .
Kylee & Craig,
Kylee, I will never forget the sunny afternoon, years ago, when an unexpected package arrived on my doorstep. I remember opening it and pulling out a wall hanging that held the boldly written words, “SHE DECIDED TO START LIVING THE LIFE SHE IMAGINED”. There wasn’t a name on the package, but when I looked at Chad he told me, it’s from Kylee.
Kylee, I know you know that was a scary season for me. I was standing on the brink of walking away from a career for which I had worked so hard to pursue the thing that my heart longed for–photography. In those days, Kylee, the whispers in my head echoed, “you can’t, you can’t you can’t”, but Kylee, your voice drowned out those echoes as you never missed an opportunity to cheer, You can! You can! You can! Kylee, I want you to know that those words still hang on my office wall, forever reminding me where it all began.
In the same way, Craig, I will never forget the way you so generously gave of your knowledge and time in the beginning. The way you opened yourself to my questions about my camera, flash and so many of the basics that felt over-whelming in the beginning. You gently walked me through some of those early questions am I am so grateful to you for that.
It’s so much for than that, though. Kylee, you have lived your life in such a bold and authentic way that you have laid out a virtual welcome mat for me into my own life. Kylee, you have helped me to have courage to live more fully, more genuinely, and with greater courage. The fire with which you live your own life can’t help but spark in fire in mine–and I know I’m not alone in that.
Kylee and Craig, I am better for knowing you. I am better for the time I have spent with both of you. I am so thankful to call you friends and to witness the beautiful life you are continually building together. You wonderful girls are only more evidence to the genuine and authentic life you are living. Lila and Vivi are so so obviously beautiful on the outside, but they most certainly have insides to match.
I love you all very much. Thank you for letting me spend an evening with you. . . .