I remember the first time I met you. It was in science class. Your hair was cut short, to the chin. You were wearing a purple sweater with animals on it. You were shy. So timid. Then, you’re this complete bombshell who is brilliant, intelligent, feisty, and so full of love and encouragement. Regretfully, it’s been years since I’ve seen you but somehow you’ve managed to come up in my life now and then with these incredibly positive, loving and encouraging moments – thanks to social media. The same social media that has let me know of your horrible passing. The social media that is now filled with all of these stories and photos and grief. Jennifer, I can’t believe this. I can’t believe it. Even just a short couple of months ago you commented on a photo of mine saying “Can we make a vow to travel together one day?” and shortly after that “What a wonderful time to celebrate another year of adventure while travelling. Thinking of you and wishing you all the joy in the world.” We were going to reconnect. We were going to continue the friendship we’ve had growing up. And just the other week on a post I made about having a bad day, you reassured me “hoping tomorrow will be a better day for you.” I didn’t let you know how much that really meant to me. Such a little statement that spoke so loudly to me that day. You’ve made an impact in my life, and I am so genuinely sad. I am sad for your family. I am sad for your friends. I am sad that we won’t get the chance to reconnect, to lift each other up, to travel together. So, I make a vow: I will not take a second of this for granted. Not the little comments left by old friends, not this trip of mine that you’ve adored following. Not this life. Despite our distance, you’ve taught me how far little acts of kindness can go. I will carry that on; I will encourage and I will love and I will do it in hopes of honouring you. In lieu of being able to make it to your funeral, I will create my own space for you. I will light incense. I will grieve.& I will sit with the gratitude I have for knowing you.