Grace Naticchia,

Remember when we would hide in the closet when one of our parents would come to pick us up? Remember fighting over whose dad was fatter? Remember when I called you 'Gwacie'?Remember sharing secret kisses because that's what cute little children do? Remember auditioning for the talent show with that ridiculous dance to a Jump5 song (at least I think that's who it was by). Remember having a joint birthday party in summer because yours is in April and mine is in December and we were sad we could never share a birthday party? Remember Emily Manganello? Remember when you started calling me Titty Titty? I could go on for what seems like eternity.

Needless to say, the memories with you run deep. When it comes to best friends, you were the first. Because of that, I truly believe you hold a special place in my heart that can never be touched or interrupted. 

We knew each other in pure innocence and stayed around to see the world mold, hurt, and desensitize us to what innocence even is. Even so, I think we're always able to see that pure part of ourselves that lived for Sunday school, yummy food, and swimming in the pool.

Yesterday, I received a letter from you that put a ridiculous smile on my face. Many, many miles apart and without communicating for years, you were still able to captivate that part of me that only sees good in the world. That part of me that knows life is about pursuing Joy above all else.

Thank you for your lasting friendship.

Thank you for inspiring me as I watch you create success for yourself and work hard to reach your goals.

Thank you for teaching me, even at a young age, to love people honestly and to nurture friendships.

Thank you for challenging me to question my faith and not just blindly accept everything a man on a podium has to tell me.

Thank you for being my best friend since we were this [] big.

I love you, sweet Gracie Lou.