Friday, October 10, 2014

Foto Friday: For Natalie

So today's Foto Friday honors an angel's birthday. Natalie would be 25 today. Two weeks ago, following a memorial ceremony honoring Natalie Lewis and Ginny Doyle and their contributions to the University of Richmond family, I was privileged to accompany those who knew her so much better to her favorite spot in Richmond.

I had been to Maymont Park before. but I had never seen it the way she saw it.  There was a whole part of the park I had not even known existed and it was immediately clear what made it so special to her.

This gazebo is where her fiance proposed, with the help of her sister and some of her best friends. Watching the proposal videos on facebook this past February was so wonderful.  The park looks completely different from that winter wonderland now.

Dear Natalie,

You are such a gift to everyone blessed enough to know you. Your genuine enthusiastic love for your friends and teammates and even for strangers was inspiring.  You took such care to welcome everyone and make them feel special and you took time to create and share so much more kindness in almost 25 years than most people can hope conjure up in 75. You used God's gifts and lived almost every day with joy, even on the hard days. The legacy you leave is a solid mark of hope and kindness in this word (made with glittery hand-made cards and home-made cookies).
I am blessed to know your spirit. You welcomed me to the swim team family with open arms and home-made posters. I wish we got to spend more time together, there's so much I could learn about friendship from you. There's so much I could learn about how to comfort those in whose hearts your loss left the greatest holes. Know that you are missed. You are loved, you are remembered, and oh so deeply missed.


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