Here is my essay in it's entirety:
Leigh was an amazing person who gave all of herself to everything she did. She brought together many friends, from different walks of life, and she somehow managed to make us see our similarities and appreciate our differences. She was a wise young woman, well beyond her 20 years. I look back now and I am amazed at the knowledge that she had. She taught me so much about love, life and family. Leigh was the glue that held us together in life and she continues to do so after her death.
The reason I would want to be her for a day is simple, we would all be able to see the person that she became. I lived with Leigh and her parents in high school so I became very close with her and her family. I know that each birthday I celebrate is a milestone her parents will not have with their daughter. Her mom has actually said to me before on my birthday, “I wonder where Leigh would be at this age” or “I wonder what Leigh would look like if she were here today”. I think we all wonder the same things: What would she have done for a living? Would she be married by now? Would she have beautiful blond haired, sparkling blue eyed little girls just like her? Would her passion for life still be as strong as it was the day we lost her?
If I were able to give her mom the opportunity to hold her daughter again it would feel like giving the gift of a lifetime. I know it would be the gift of her lifetime. If Leigh’s friends could see her smiling face, take one more trip to the mall, have one more serious talk about life or just sit with her and feel her presence they would trade anything in this world. Just one day with her, one day to say all that we couldn’t say 10 years ago.
Leigh knew that we loved her; I have no doubt about that. I know she is up in Heaven today listening as I compose this. She is touched by my words, my love of her parents, my continued connection to her friends and my need to keep her memory alive. She is probably wishing she could make this wish come true for everyone as much as I do. She sends her love in a way, even today, that I can feel her sitting next to me. She is letting me know that she never went anywhere. She is with each of us always, in our thoughts, our dreams and our fantastic memories of her. The only thing I do know is that if Leigh were here today she would still be my very best friend and soul sister to the end.
I got a 99%! She took points off because I capitalized the 'E' in earth (which I still feel should be capilized)! Whatevs, it was a good start. I read my 2nd essay aloud to the class this past Saturday. The assignment was to write about a place that had such an impact on you that you can close your eyes and take yourself back there. We were to describe it in detail physically and emotionally. The first 2 girls read about clubs and detailed liquor and dancing. I thought I was way off base for the assignment until I started to read my essay and I noticed everyone was paying attention. My teacher and all of my classmates gave great feedback so I am pretty sure I did ok on that one too! As soon as I have my grade I will post that for you too. Oh, hell...I will post it today!