Well. This particular friend is in the constant state of inspiring me. Her name is Ashley. I created a quote wall from a visit I had with her a few months back. It was one of my highlights from college, actually :) I was able to re-connect with one of my very best friends and my 2nd mother, and then meet a new friend!
Me, Ashley 1, and the new friend! Ashley 2
Aren't we cute :) And now I would like to talk about the lady in the middle, Ashley 1.
As I said, she is in the constant state of inspiring me. Ashley never lets life get her down. Ashley still keeps on, even when faced with challenges. Ashley is always cheerful. Ashley is beautiful inside and out. Ashley expands her horizons. Ashley touches every person she meets. Ashley walks the walk.
Ashley is not a normal person. Ashley makes goals, and completes them. No, this is not necessarily abnormal, but her goals are.
Ashley wants to go on a service-oriented trip every year. Last year she went to Kenya, a place I have wanted to go to for the last eight or so years. And she decided to go, raised the money, and went, all in five months.
This is one of my favorite pictures ever. Isn't she amazing?!
Five months people! That is amazing. But that's also common-place for Ashley. She was in and out of the hospital a lot of school, but she still passed, and not only that- she made good grades. She got into the college she wanted to attend, University of Utah, where she studies, makes friends and inspires, despite her recent diagnosis. You see, Ashley found out a few days ago that she has Multiple Sclerosis.
I debated a bit over whether or not to include this information, but then I realized that Ashley is not a person to hide things like this. Ashley faces problems and then dismisses them once she's given them a severe talking to. She does not pretend away their existence, but at the same time she does not let them define her.
Ashley is amazing. In her blog post announcing this information, she ended with, "....because it all works out in the end!" Seriously, she did.
Ash and I. I wore her Utah hoodie for the photoshoot because I was feeling rebellious :)
Ashley is a living legend to me. I really don't believe in gushing this much, but with Ashley I just don't consider it gushing, it's just stating fact. She is one of those people that you really can't say enough. She is a thousand billion qua-drillion eighty-two hundred million seven thousand and three times better in person than on paper.
Ashley has this way of making people feel special. She sees value and has love for each and every person, no matter where they are from or their back-story or their worldly wealth. She is not perfect, but she has charity, which is the perfect love of the Savior.
There are few people I admire more than this girl. I would move mountains for her, and it is not even a question in my mind that she would do the same for me. I am so honored to be counted among her friends. I think God only lets a few "Ashley"s go to Earth at once, because if there were more people like Ashley, the world wouldn't be in such a bad state. She is a rare gem, so special and unique. I am so blessed to know her.
Thank you for always going the extra mile. Thank you for my wonderful panda pillow pet! Thank you for letting me back into your life without a pause after a five year hiatus. Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me. Thank you for always smiling. Thank you for letting me drink all your apple juice. Thank you for achieving your dreams. Thank you for always helping others. Thank you for teaching me just through your example. Thank you for introducing me to s'more pizza and McDonalds oatmeal. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for laughing as much as you do. Thank you for going to Kenya. Thank you for inviting me :) Thank you for never giving up. Thank you for letting me borrow your family/friends/pets/make-up/clothes. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for always taking the time. Thank you for being brave. Thank you for being my hero.
I love you, Ash <3