I made a couple of best friends this summer. I don’t really have a lot of friends, and I have been praying to God to help me find a decent, true, and genuine, Christian friend. Now, I think I have found two! One is Hannah. I have known her for quite some time. Our moms are best friends, and they once went to a work-related party. They brought both of us to it, and that is how we met. At first, we didn’t talk at all. Then, maybe thirty or forty minutes later, we started talking to each other. We were running around and having a blast with each other before I realized it.
I think the next time we saw each other was at our church. Afterwards we went to eat at a restaurant together. We had a great time and pleaded with our parents for a sleepover together. They said not right then, but maybe another day. Later on, we met with them again and had a sleepover at my house. We had a great time! I loved hanging out with her, so I invited her for another sleepover on my birthday. Let me tell you guys, she loves to play Mario Kart. It was late; I was tired, and she still wanted to play. I enjoyed playing it with her, though. It was fun. It’s kind of our thing at my house.
Not too long after, we stopped talking to each other and lost touch again. I am very shy, so when I saw her at church, I was nervous about reconnecting. Most of the time I never know what to say, but I really wanted to hang out and continue talking. I’m not sure why we didn’t. We finally got back together after a long time away from each other and I stayed at her house, but yet we drifted apart again.
We finally got together after watching some kids together at church. This only happened a few weeks ago and now we are best friends. I’m not sure how to put it, but I believe this is the closest we’ve ever been since we met. Last week we spent almost the entire time together. One day we went to the pool, and she spent the night at my house. Then I joined her at church and stayed at her house for a night or two. I went home for a day and then to the lake the next day, and I stayed at her place once again. Because I had never seen the entire film before, we watched the movie Titanic. We had a great time, and I loved us hanging out.
I’m thrilled, and to be honest, this is the happiest I’ve felt in a long time. It’s nice to have someone who will call me as soon as I wake up and talk to me all day when I’m bored. She will tell me something big that happened to her and trust me to keep it a secret. We tease each other and annoy one another for fun. Hannah has become one of my closest friends, and I hope we never lose touch.
Katie is my other friend, whom I met for the first time a few weeks ago. She is awesome! I’ve only hung out with her twice, but she is pretty cool. She is really nice and welcoming. The first time we met I was too shy to talk, but she didn’t care and invited me to join in whatever she was doing. She made me feel confident in being myself. Just yesterday we talked on the phone for almost four and a half hours! We watched a movie together while on the phone, which is funny to think about. I may not fully know Katie, but I would consider her a very close friend. I would also like to point out that she is one hard worker.
I love you, Hannah, and Katie. I hope we don’t drift apart.
I have the best dad I could ever ask for. He always tries his best to make me smile or laugh. He cracks his dad jokes seven days a week. Even if I get upset or frustrated at him, he acts goofy, tickles me, or tries to joke around to lighten the mood.
Lately he has been calling my sister and me squirrels, instead of girls. He acts like it’s a slip of the tongue, even though we know it’s not. Even small things like that can make me smile. One of my favorite traits of his is his dad’s humor.
My dad always tries to spend time with everyone. He spends time outside with mama usually, and he likes to watch movies or T.V. shows with my sister and I. Recently, we watched “America’s Got Talent” and “American Ninja Warrior”. He also started watching the “Lord of the Ring” series with my sister. I was in the room, but I was not really into it. One of the characters freaked me out in the second movie.
Dad also watches me play a video game I like every once in a while. Once, he played while I was teaching him. It was pretty funny. I told him I wanted to teach him again soon. I think it would be so much fun if we played together.
Another bond I share with my dad is basketball. Even though I do not play for my school anymore, we still shoot some hoops outside in the driveway. I just got a new basketball goal for Christmas and still love it. No matter how much he loves me playing basketball, he still supported my decision. I love to play the game “horse” with him outside. It is a fun basketball game to play.
He always tries to help and comfort everyone. No matter how many problems he has on his mind, he puts them aside and helps others. I want him to know that he can come to me if he ever wants to talk. I know I am the kid, but I can always help.
I love you, dad and nothing will ever change that. You are fantastic, super, and amazing. I will always be here for you, as you are for me. I love and miss you the most, no backsies squirrel… I mean dad! You guys might not know what that means because it’s a family thing.
This letter is for my Grandpa Hale, who passed away in 2018:
Nobody is perfect, but you were great. You always tried to make us kids happy. Some of my most memorable moments with you were when you would randomly ask me about math problems. We wouldn’t get to your house until around midnight sometimes, but you still gave me numbers to work through, and I solved them. You were so impressed by my quick solving mind that you began teaching me how to play sudoku. It was hard at first, but I got the hang of it and loved it. It was a fun numbers game. Numbers were one of my main bonds with you, Grandpa.
Something else I did with you, along with my sister, was the TV show called Chopped. You started a” Family Chopped”. I don’t know if my readers have watched that cooking show, but basically it is about judging different people’s food and eliminating the contestants until only the best is left. Grandpa, you would give my sister and I a main course of food, and we had to make a meal using it with our own choice of a side dish. We did it for three years. It was a lot of fun. I used to watch that show all the time, so it was cool to feel like I was in it. We had so much fun at your house, it felt like another home. I was always cozy and comfortable there.
You always tried to give my sister and me money. You would give us math problems, riddles, etc. My great- grandfather, Grandio, does the same. I will not lie, it is fun getting money by doing challenges. On Christmas, or my birthday, you also gave us money and always asked us later what we did with it. Sometimes I saved it. Other times I spent it quickly. You always tried to give us an extra helping hand.
Another game you taught me was chess. I wanted to know how to play, and everyone told me that you were great at it. I then went to you and asked to play. you showed me what each piece did and then we played a match or two. Let me tell you that my family was not lying when they talked about how good you are. I cannot remember if I’ve ever beaten you, I might have once, but it would not surprise me that you let me win.
I remember you would come and stay with us at Christmas sometimes and that was awesome! One year you gave me my first chess board, and we played on it together. I had bunches of fun with you while you were with us. I would go outside and sit with you in the garage, and we played hangman, or just hang out, or just talk. We did the same at your house under the car cover in front of your garage. You always had Life Savers there too.
I want my mom to pay close attention to this part. I want her to know that when she struggles and misses you; she does not have to hide it. I want her to come to me. I do not want her to feel sad, or alone. I want her to know that I miss you dearly too, grandpa, and she can come to me and talk about it. She can cry and laugh with me over the memories we have of you. When Mom is sad, I go to her and if she does not want me around, then I will pull this story up on my phone and hand it to her. No matter what, I will try to comfort her when she is alone. I do not want Mom to be sad, and I hope I can help her stay on the positive side of things. I love you, mama and I will always be here for you.
I hope you see this in Heaven, Grandpa. I hope you can be here with all of us. Lord, please lay a hand on my mom, all my aunts, Grandio, Mamaw, and the rest of my family. I love you Grandpa ❤…Taylor
This is dedicated to my Mama. My Mama is very special to me. She has helped me
through so much in my life while helping others at the same time. People go to
her when they need help because she is very easy to talk to about personal
problems. She always knows what to say, that is why I go to her all the time. For
example, when I broke down and had a panic attack because I was so upset by
basketball, I went to her. I was so sad, but after she wrapped her arms around me
tight and talked to me in her soothing and comforting tone, I knew I was okay. She
prays over me when I’m anxious and sad. She picks me up when I’m down. I don’t
know what I would do without her.
She means the world to me. I know every kid says to their mom that she is the
best in the whole wide world, but Mama, “You are the best in the whole wide
world!” I mean it with all my heart and no other kid can mean it as much as me! I
love you, and I want to help you like you help me. When you are down and trip
over a stump, I want to help pick you up like you do me. When you are scared and
see a pot hole ahead of you on the road, I want to help you move around it like
you do me. I want to be someone that you can talk to and get help from like you are
No one can replace you Mama. Know that that will never change! I love you and
always will no matter what! Never forget that! You mean the world to me. You try
to make me happy even if it causes you trouble.
I appreciate you and everything you do. You fight for this family, and you fight for
me. You try your best to get me where I need to be, get my two siblings where
they need to be, and get yourself where you need to be. I do not know how you
do it but you do.
I for one am proud of you. Might I just say that I am a fan of your work. Also….
just so you know… I love and miss you the most, no backsies.
P.S. Many of you reading this will not know what that means in my family.
My journey with basketball has been a great one. I have played it since around 3rd grade. I love it and it will always be something I love and have a place in my heart.
When I was younger, I started off playing at a church. I had a lot of fun. As soon as I started playing, I knew it was my thing. It was my main sport, and I thought it would always be.
My dad was my coach when I was younger. He loved coaching and watching me play. He used to play it when he was younger. He still coaches me till this day. I was not super good when I was younger, but I was pretty average. I remember one game I was the only kid who didn’t score. My dad set up a play so that after one kid shot a free throw, they could chunk the ball across the court to me. I was wide open but still nervous. I made it, though.
After Upward basketball, at the church, I started AAU travel ball when I was in elementary school. I had a coach named Heather. She was absolutely amazing! I love her and always will. She is like a close friend. Actually, she is one. She has taught me a lot. She prepared me for my future with basketball.
Once I got in Junior High, things got harder, but I got better. I was always nervous before games, though. I would also get nervous in practices. I would be too hard on myself, and I still am. I stuck with it, though. I knew I was doing well, but still focused on what I messed up on. However, I love the sport, so I didn’t want to let it go. Later on, I started to think about whether or not I still wanted to play. I started thinking like this around 7th and 8th grade. I never officially settled on quitting.
I decided to keep playing. I did not hate playing or anything like that. It just started to become something I did not always have fun doing. I will say that those moments when I made a great shot or game changing move felt amazing! One time, we were playing against a team at their gym. I was in 7th grade at the time. We were tied 30-30 at the last 10 seconds. I got fouled and had a chance to put us ahead of them. If I made at least one free-throw then we would be up by one point. I made both! We were then up by 2 points with about 10 seconds left. I felt so good, yet nervous, at that very moment. We tried our best to guard them, but one girl got the ball and dribbled down the court to their goal. I could not let her win the game. I was determined. I ran as fast as I could and tipped the ball right from her hand. She still managed to get it back before it went out of bounds, but she did not have enough time to get off a good shot off. She just threw it up and completely missed. I was so happy! I made the winning shots and defensive play to win the game! That was one of my happiest moments while playing basketball.
Now, I am in high school. I decided to keep playing basketball. I was extremely nervous and anxious. When we started practicing, coach did not cut anyone off the team. If you wanted off, then you would just quit. I didn’t want to quit exactly at the time. The head coach, Wilkins, was starting to really like me, and coach heather, the assistant coach, already loved me. It felt good that they loved me and how I played. I am a really great shooter. That’s what I love to do. I was not that good at handling the ball, but I sure could shoot it. Later on, I started to think different though. After about halfway through the season I was not having fun playing. It started feeling like a job rather than a fun sport or hobby. After the season was over, I broke. I started to really think about how unhappy I was playing every day. We never got a break. We played all year round. I finally decided to quit.
Now, I feel free. I feel like I can do what I really want to do. I want to help animals when I’m older. I am going to take classes that will help me learn more about them. I still love basketball but just as something I do on my own for fun. I do not want to do it all the time and at my school. I am much happier now and glad that I made that important decision in my life.