Friday, March 7, 2014

Dear Ashleigh...

A few weeks ago, one of my friends from BYU passed away. Ashleigh and I weren't best friends. In fact, I could probably count our interactions on two hands. But that doesn't at all change the incredible influence she has had on my life. It seems like a lot of times, when we miss someone, we tend to remember only their positive qualities. That's true with Ashleigh too, except in her case, it's only because I never saw a single negative quality in her to remember. Ashleigh is one of the kindest, friendliest, loveliest, most sincere women I have ever met. And not only is that the farthest thing from an exaggeration, but also, I feel like there should be other words invented just to describe her. Those ones don't quite do it. When I first moved into the ward Junior year, Ashleigh was one of the first people to introduce herself. I remember thinking, "This ward won't be so bad. I already have a new friend. :)" She included everyone, just by her smile and loving, happy attitude! I have never met anyone so good at teaching by example.

After Ashleigh passed away, I found myself thinking a lot about how the Lord puts people like her in our lives to teach us things. This life can be haaaaard and most of the time, the Lord's tender mercies come in the form of another person. Then I realized that I let a lot of people pass through my life DAILY without even acknowledging the beauty that they bring to it. That's stupid. Why wouldn't I take the time to be blessed by my blessings...? Um helloooooo.
So, I started paying more attention and let me just say, human beings are probably my new favorite thing. There are so many awesome people EVERYWHERE and I want to tell you about some of them in the next few blog posts :) Some of the posts will be about interactions that literally lasted 20 seconds in passing. Some of the people will have made up names because I never learned their actual ones. But I think the beauty is in the simplicity of it. 

So count this as my first of the "Dear Ashleigh" series. I figured the one who inspired the idea should be the first :)

Dear Ashleigh,

I feel like you must be the person that my young woman's leaders were teaching me to be all of those years. Your humility, love, and kindness shine right through your lovely smile and I'm so thankful for the chance I've had to know you. Thanks for introducing yourself that first day. Thanks for being my friend. :) I love you! 

Love, Kelli

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