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Love Is No Distance
My Dearest Shirley,
Do you recall the discussion we had one beautiful, warm and unforgettable morning in our hometown of Southampton, England? We were wee children and my oh my did we have incredible dreams! That morning our mothers exchanged gossip about cheating wives and sipped their tea like any ordinary morning. We remained roaming around my grandfathers courtyard like detectives in search of a clue to an unsolved murder. The heat was incredibly hot that morning. Droplets of sweat dangled from the tips of our long brown hair but slowly fell to nourish the grass where we held our childish picnics.
“Victoria! Get up you silly goose. We can rest under that big tree!”, you called out to me. You were always such a rambunctious rug rat. Without hesitation I quickly arose and ran to the huge tree. The shade from the tree swallowed us. The cold grass and air satisfied our pale skin. Your skin was always a tad bit darker than my skin.
“You’re as white as a ghost Victoria! It’s as if God himself painted you with white paint at birth.” Oh you damn jokester. Even as an elderly woman I remember those words. Of course we both busted out in uncontrollable laughter that sounded so obnoxious; even for young ladies. Sorry I seemed to have skipped forward to the days when we were young women.
Now as I was saying, we laid there under the huge tree and discussed our futures.
“I don’t want a husband. To tell you the truth being a wife would be quite boring. I mean look at our mothers. Sipping their tea and gossiping on a daily basis about the same old people is rather boring.”
“Then what do you want to do with your life?” I asked with gentle curiosity.
“I want to sail around the world! I’ve always been fascinated with the sea and sailboats. Think about it. Day and night sailing to a different country or island without a worry in the world.”, you replied with such devotion and determination.
“That’s a good dream but how will I ever see my best friend if she sails around the world? Won’t you miss me?” The sadness in my voice indicated my worry and frustration that you would leave me for a sailboat. You of course sensed it right away, as usual.
“I’ll always be your best friend and I’ll never stop seeing you. I’ll sail to your house after every journey I experience. I’ll write to you every single day. Distance will never seize our friendship. We’ve been best friends since birth and we’ll be best friends past death!” The moment you said that I knew we’d be best friends forever. But you were always one step ahead of me, even in death.
I have always hated the idea of you setting foot any sailboat, let alone the Titanic! But I supported you because it seemed like the whole world discouraged your dreams. I was one of the only people to support your decision to board the Titanic. If I had known of that mighty vessels fate I would have tied you to the tree we laid under. Who knew that this would be your last adventure. You were one of the 2,227 people who boarded the Titanic on April 10th, 1912. I hoped and prayed to God that you would be one of the 1,178 passengers that survived. 1,517 passengers sank with the Titanic. Shirley, you were one of those wonderful souls. I know your soul has purified the ocean. You are the purest and kindest person I have ever known. Shirley I have cried every single day of my life since you died. The funny thing is I always checked the mail and hoped to find a letter from your voyage saying that you would visit me soon. Since your death I isolated myself from the retched world because I knew life would never be the same. I was completely devastated and depressed for years. But I later married a rich man by the name of Walter Smith. We had 2 little girls who grew up to marry wealthy men. Who knew I’d be a grandmother already? I am an old and frail old woman who doesn’t have many days left. I’m actually looking forward to dying now. I’ve been among the living but inside I’m truly dead. Sometimes I wanted to tie an anchor around my body so I could sink to the depths of the ocean where your body is.
Shirley that moment under the tree is one of the best moments we’ve shared together. That’s why I mentioned it in this letter. Even after your death we remained best friends. When I die I hope to see your loving face. So I close by saying what you once told me before you boarded the Titanic that has kept me alive to this very day.
“Distance will never separate us Victoria. Now go live your life you silly goose!”
-Sincerely, your Silly Goose, Victoria.