100 years.

12 years.

Tony, what would happen if you saw your little brother’s girlfriend?
Alzarah, what would you think think about Tayden playing with that stuffed dog you gave me?
Nicole, would you hug a little longer?
Jackson, would you know how loved you were? Are?
Whitney, would you watch that movie over and over again with Jenny?
Jeremy, would you still build those forts?
Waylon, would you still tell your parents that rules don’t matter?
Tim, would your jokes still make all of us wonder?
Katie, would you smile a little more?
Ryan, would you still adore your little sister?
Axel, would you really sit next to all of us, and then do your stupid high school boy stuff with Tan?
Dusty, would you still want to marry me?

I turned 20 last week. In my two decades of living, I have lived. When I sit to look at the story, I cannot help but be overwhelmed be by 100 years of experience. 100 years of knowing. 100 years of faces and sparkling eyes. 100 years of knowing we’re not far. People can’t help but be baffled. I can’t help but be baffled. I talk about reunions enough, I do suppose because in those 100 years, I’ve learned the value of never needing to say goodbye.

20, I believe, really has been 100.

I believe all those faces would smile with me. I believe they would all smile with me as I sit down in a room full of college students to play a game and laughter erupts. They’d smile with me, because they’d be 100 years old now too. And because they’d know the ten decades that chained our hearts into the preciousness of the beauty in a smile. And because they would know that I could never explain this stack of intertwined grace wrapped, sorrow filled moments.

You know, maybe even if I can’t see them, they do anyway.

You all would have loved last night. I’d like to say I wonder what we’d become, but it just so happens that we’re still becoming.

I love you all. I miss you all. But, you won’t be far for long.

You’ll be in every moment with me. Forever.

…because love wins.

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