"I love you" never means the same thing twice. So this is me, saying "I love you" in the form of little letters to the ones that hold slivers of my heart, in all the different ways those three little words take form.
Dear You, all four of you, our family has come out of your love. On both sides, you anchor us all, my parents, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins. That you once lived next door to each other on Flint Tavern Place is one of my favorite stories to tell. That my parents met because you four were first friendly neighbors is such a sweet story. That all four of you are alive and well and making your seventies look younger than ever is such a blessing. That all four of you never cease to remind me I am loved is such a gift. I'm so grateful for you. I'm grateful for every memory throughout all the years of my life made better by your love for our family.
Dear You, I can picture all of your faces now. I can just vaguely remember what it felt like to hug you, to hold your hand, to call you mine. I said I love you, and I know that I meant it, but I know that it was different than what I know love to be now. But I'm thankful for you, for all of you. For the months I spent by your side over the years, for the things you opened my eyes to, for the ways you helped my understanding of love to grow. I'll always be fond of all of you. Little parts of my heart will always be yours.
Dear You, for three years (and ever since), you have been an anchor for me. You loved me at my messiest, held me accountable, drew me back to Jesus time and time again, and made my life brighter and more full with your boundless joy and endless wisdom. You once told me I was a mirror, and I've never forgotten those words. You speak so much truth into my life and I'm so deeply thankful for your friendship and how it changes me.
Dear You, I'm proud of you. I don't say that enough. Ever since I can remember, you've been right there next to me, making everyone laugh with your antics, stealing the spotlight (and also my candy), making life infinitely more fun, and reminding me to just live a little. You'll always be little to me, even though you've shot up to be so much taller than me. You're smart, you're hilarious, you're talented, you're loyal, you're full of fun facts, and you make our family better in every way. I'm so, so proud you're part of us.
Dear You, you three make working feel so much more like fun. That I haven't ever met two of you face-to-face seems hilarious considering how close we all are. It's been a joy to be part of this team from the very beginning, even when it was hard too. You all are so talented and driven, and the work you do really is changing the world little by little. I'm proud to call you friends and co-workers and brothers in Christ.
Dear You, where would I be without You? Who would I be? I don't even want to think about that, don't ever want to go there. You saved me and You keep saving me. You loved me and You keep loving me. You redeemed me and You keep redeeming me. You gave me life and transform what it looks like day by day, breath by breath. My little heart full of love for You will never be enough, but I want to pour it all out at Your feet every day in every way anyway. Every bone in my body and every beat of my heart sing out "I love You, I love You, I love You."