The One That Got Away

By JMathis

I worshiped you from the day I met you.

We were only eleven, but you managed to win me over with your peals of infectious laughter, and your ability to ignite a room with your warmth and passion.

Everyone adored you and wanted a piece of you, but I will never forget how you made a special, little place in your heart just for me.

You possess a certain magnetism and zeal for life that elevate those around you to a bigger, better and brighter place. A place that is wide, vast and bottomless with love, friendship and immense beauty.

Did you know that the school cafeteria was a magical place whenever I was with you?

While we haven’t been close since graduating high school (different schools, different states, different paths in life), I love that you still hold a special, little place in your heart just for me.

I want you to know that my birthday is just not complete until I receive a call or a text from you.

I know that seems either trivial or insufficient to some people, but for me, it lights up the rest of my year.

For at a young age, you had already given me the greatest gift a friend could ever give another: the gift of inspiration.

You inspired me to strive, you inspired me to reach, you inspired me to share, you inspired me to give freely of myself.

You inspired me to set aside negativity in favor of joy. Sheer, unadulterated joy.

Twenty-five years later, you still inspire me to achieve bigger, better and brighter. Why? Because twenty-five years later, you are still you: spreading love, laughter and joy to all who cross your path. While I may not be the one directly in your path these days, it warms my heart that your new friends are soaking in the rays of your sunshine—it’s their turn now to learn from you.

After all, it was you who taught me one of life’s greatest lessons: friendship is to be given away liberally and abundantly, irrespective of who you are, what you own, and how much time you have to invest in someone’s life.

You taught me that friendship is to be multiplied and spread widely—not something to be horded or parceled out stingily to the highest or flashiest bidder.

I know that you are not a Christ-follower, but you possess all of the qualities that all Christians should and must possess.

For that, you inspire me to be a better Christian.

To this day, you inspire me to be the friend that I hope to be to others.

You are the one that got away, but yet, you are the one who is forever closest to my heart.

Thank you for shining your light on me for that brief period of time.

It shines on through me even unto this day, as a personal reminder to keep paying it forward.

I love you, girlie. Always will.

I Samuel 18:1-3. And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

2 Samuel 1:25-26. How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. I grieve for you, Jonathan, my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.

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