If I really were to write everything I am thankful about with regards to Aurora, it would take more than 2 minutes. 2 hours at least and I'd just then be getting on a roll. I am starting this rampage of appreciation with her, because, even though my love and appreciation for her goes without saying, she did this for me, which seemingly came from left field, but blasted open my heart and made me cry--in the best way possible. If I can make her, and perhaps other people feel a fraction of the gratitude I felt in being appreciated, I want to do all I can do to it.
She's influenced me in this way, and so many other ways, I guess it's only fitting that I follow in her footsteps again.
I don't want to make Aurora cry, necessarily, and my words will fail to illustrate the depth of person she is, or the appreciation and love I have for her, but here goes! =)
Aurora came into my life when I was not really looking for a friend. I was kind of a loner and in that stage of teenage-hood where I wasn't really sure I liked people in general. But we met, and started getting to know each other and there was no pushing or forcing or trying too hard---it just kind of flowed and it was easy and I learned very quickly that she was a special person and a kindred spirit.
There are so many memories and so many good times, too many to recount here, but there are a few key memories that stand out in my mind about the kind of person Aurora is. She is someone who has challenged my limits of thinking and possibility and I feel like many of our interactions go something like this:
Mari:"Oh, no. You can't do that, that's impossible".
Aurora: (already doing it and looking back over her shoulder)
"what did you say?"
Mari: ".........um. Nothing".
She has taught me about bravery and following your gut and not compromising on what is important. She is tough and strong yet unbelievably tender and gentle and loving as well. She knows my deepest wounds and hurts, yet cradles them, respects and loves them as if they were her own. But it doesn't stop there because she challenges them to heal so they don't fester.
Talking to her makes me feel clearer in who I am, and also the ways I want to grow. I remember when she first got her wobbly cats, and she was showing me how to feed them when I was going to watch them for her. The first time I saw her gently cradle Snick's wavering noggin so that he could steady himself enough to eat better it was like something melted inside of me. That hardness that you feel sometimes when you feel like the world is against you and you have to fight for everything---that feeling melted away because she showed me that there is love and caring in the world. She is so caring and gentle and resourceful without looking for praise or acknowledgement. You just do what needs to be done and that's that. Aurora is these things and so much more, and I know that all of you who have interacted with her know in your own way her brilliance and bravery.
We started a list of "First's" when we were in high school. I believe "tattoos" and "world domination" are still in progress, but we have scratched off many amazing experiences and I look forward to creating and crossing off many more.