Letters from Me, Day 33: Marie Simons, Swarthmore, PA

Dear Marie,

My dearest mamacita, who has always loved and supported me no matter what the occasion or situation...

I so treasure the time we get together, and all the ways we have celebrated and enjoyed ourselves over the years. You have always been such an amazing friend to me, and I hope that I have been able to show you all that you mean to me, for being all that you are.

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It's hard to believe that we met 9 whole years ago. It was Jess' birthday in 2006, and I took a trip to Philadelphia to visit - my 2nd ever trip to the city of Brotherly Love. I spent a couple of days touring the town, eating amazing food and sipping fancy cocktails with some of Jess' cool friends, who all seemed so grown up and sophisticated. It was the night of her birthday dinner that I met you and John, and we connected almost instantaneously. It was one crazy night, filled with laughter and stories, and drunken debauchery. And we were just at a Moroccan restaurant! I remember after I got a little sick, you took me outside and rubbed my back and sang to me, until we were approached by an entire all-male college a capella group, who serenaded us with a couple tunes, before fading back into the night together. I knew that night that you'd always look out for me, even though it was several years before our paths crossed again.

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When I moved to Philly, it was a bright, big world at my fingertips and though I was excited, I was also scared because other than Jess, I basically knew no one. Luckily, I knew you. Right away, we made plans to do dinner at your warm and welcoming house in Swarthmore, and to have drinks out on MacDade Blvd, with your musical crew. I came to CJ's graduation party - I think it was my first year here - and loved the vibe, everyone playing tunes, the drinks flowing, the amazing food, and the love that surrounded us.

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Over the next few years, we made many memories. Karaoke nights DJ'd by Lisa, with Bella on your lap, belting tunes and sipping cocktails with Jess and a collection of various friends. Bowling birthdays. Dinner parties. Jam sessions at Chez Simons. 

And of course, there was our epic trip to Las Vegas. We were roomies! I loved getting ready for fancy nights out with you, dining at fabulous restaurants, touring casinos (where you and Bob would go on to win big!) and seeing the sights all around town. I still remember how you taught us to get on the Southwest flight before anyone else. (And I'll never tell!) You were a phenomenal travel companion, who not only had all the fun there was to have, but looked out for me when I was overwhelmed by the great big world that is Las Vegas. 

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And these days, I have been so blessed to be able to help with your website and reiki practice awareness initiatives. I love spending hours with you figuring things out and working together. Because not only do I get time with you to hang out and laugh together, we get to do something meaningful that will help you help many others. I am so proud with how far you have come in just a few short months since we started working together. And you repay me with such kindness and joy...how could I not love working with you?

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I have loved spending time with you over all of our years together. You have the most lovely, light-filled and positive energy surrounding you, wherever you go. And all who get to bask in that glow are lucky to know you and be around you. There are so many people who love you and are touched by your work, your service, your big heart, your brilliant mind and your sweet soul. Your volunteer work, your life in the theater, your reiki practice, your large circle of friends and family that you surround yourself with - we are blessed to have each one of these parts of you.

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You are truly, wholly and fully yourself, without exception and without apology. You have taught me to be confident in myself as a woman, as a professional and as a partner in a relationship. I look up to you in so many ways and feel so proud to be a part of your circle. I love you forever and always and can't wait for our next adventure.

Love,

Amanda