Andrea and I go all the way back to my first year of community college. We met during my first semester at school in an American Politics class. It’s been so long ago that, to be honest, it’s hard for me to remember how we ended up getting to know each other but sitting next to another human being is always an awesome starts.
However, I think that I truly got to see who Andrea is a year later in another English class where we got to work in the same group, listen and give each other feedback on the often personal papers we wrote. I then started to notice her big smile anytime I saw her in the class or outside of class. She has always been so positive and you could sense her energy from across the room. It was fascinating to me to sit down with her one day and sip hot chocolate and coffee on our campus’ bench. I got to see a part of her that I have not been aware of before and now, more than ever, her smile and positivity put me in awe. We all have stories and a past that can often be more surprising to people than we think. By being part of Andrea’s life I continue to be amazed by how much she is able to continue her journey with that big smile on her face and with hope for good and creativity everyday.
Thank you Andrea for not giving up and pursuing what you believe is right for you and your family. Thank you for knowing who you are and standing up to that. Thank you for your smile, it has made my days brighter.