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Sam,

It was so great getting to meet your cousin this week. He seems to have quite of few of the same qualities that you have. The same ones that make everyone like you made you so repected by your peers and older adults as well.

It's amazing what your death has done to our community. It's like our own mini 9/11. Everyone has come together and is helping everyone else through this difficult time. I'd like to think that's just the way you would want it.

Your family seems to be coping so well. Of course you're watching out for them, but even with their incredibly strong faith I thought that they would be having a more difficult time. It's amazing what God has done for you and your family. I heard that you and your dad got to pray together before your death. What an amazing experience for you both. I must tell you that your death has totally renewed my strenght in God as a higher power. I had let my faith die away quite a bit...but praying and asking God for help through this has reminded me what a truely great force His love is. Listening to you family speak at your funeral about all He has done for them truely has answered my questions about the exsistence of a higher being. I'm still not sure if it's the God we all know from the stories in the bible...but I do know that God is there and that he is taking care of you and all your friends and family just like you did for them when you were still here with us.

Even though I didn't know you all that well, didn't hang out with your crowd in school and everything like that, I still looked up to you and all that you accomplished and did. Back when we were in elementary school you were always the athletic one, the one everyone wanted to beat at Olympic Day, in the mile run, see if they could get more pull ups done than you. It was such a cool thing to be able to cheer at your basketball and soccer games. I remember senior year that playoff game at Three Lakes and freezing half to death, but still actually cheering for you guys instead of just wanting to go home. For some reason any sport you played seemed to have more heart. You inspired you teams to win. I know UWEC will miss your leadership and pressence this year in soccer.

Anyhow...enough babble out of me. I'm sure you have lots of people letting you know how important you were to them. I hope they never stop letting you know. I think we all know you're in a better place and being watched over, but it's still really hard to cope down here. I hope I get to see you again when I leave.

May you always rest in peace,
Amanda

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