Letter for my Leader of Great Expeditions

Monday, June 01, 2015

Letter for my Leader of Great Expeditions

Dear M.,

Throughout my life, you have been like an slightly older, second sister to me. We’re related by blood, and I often claim your parents as much as my own. Growing up, we were always taking turns spending weekends and (during the summer) even whole weeks at each other’s houses. My greatest childhood memories, and most interesting childhood stories come from the times we spent together.

You were the leader of all our great expeditions: through forests and creeks, over cactus plants, and down slippery, rocky, dangerous hills (that I still have the scars from), and camp activities. And also the metaphorical expeditions: through heartbreak, family tragedy, religion, and the discovery of self.

I don’t think I could ever put entirely into words how much you’ve influenced my life. Out of all the people I know, you are definitely the person who has inspired me the most. I’ve always looked up to you and to you, always asked myself what you would do in every situation. You are my favorite relative, my best friend, my older sister, and my role model all at once.

You have this unwavering strength and dignity that is sometimes intimidating, but always inspirational. You stick up for what you believe in no matter what, and you don’t take shit from anyone. You’re not afraid to let your feelings be known. Your loyalty for your friends is never-ending, and everyone you love knows that they can count on you to stand by their side through thick-and-thin. You’re just a natural care-giver. Whether toward plants, animals, or people, your love radiates from your every action toward all life.

You have a voice that demands to be listened to, and a wisdom that demands respect. You’re an incredibly talented writer, and one of the main reasons why I never stopped writing. I still have a story you wrote when you were in the eighth grade. This was the year I moved away, and we would send each other stories over email since we wouldn’t get to see each other often enough to trade in person. It was one of the most amazing stories I ever read, and I’ve kept it to push me toward that kind of writing. I wanted to be as great a writer as you are someday.

And let’s not forget to give you credit for Music Monday. You were the one who gave me the idea to write short stories based off of songs. Without you, Music Monday wouldn’t exist.

And who else would read my poems every Mathys family holiday? Who else would stand by my side while I’m shaking from the sudden attention and vulnerability?

Honestly, if I were to try to list all the ways you’ve impacted my life, I’d be writing all day. And I still wouldn’t be finished. Because your influence in my life is far from finished.

I know we’ve drifted apart some over the years. The distance between us is more than just physical now. We’ve lost touch. But you are and have always been a part of me. A part of my heart, and definitely a part of my soul. You are present in every definition of myself. And I love you with every single part of me.

You have been the source of the most laughter, love, and life in all of my memories. And I hope we can one day get back to the level of closeness that we used to have. I hope we’ll both learn how to stay in touch, despite miles of road and life between us because I miss you so much! And it never seems like we have enough time to catch up when we finally get the chance.

Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to see you soon. But if not, still know that I am forever grateful to have you in my life, to call you family. You are the best part of me, and I’ll never stop being amazed by you. I love you!

With love,


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