To My College Roommate on Her Wedding Day

Whitney, 

Saturday is your Wedding Day. It’s a day every girl dreams of her entire life; it’s a day I’ve watched you plan every detail of for over a year now. I am so thankful I was given the chance to live with you for 2 years during college, and I am so thankful I get to stand beside you on your big day. 

I sit here and reminisce on our lifelong friendship, and I can’t help but to remember the times we spent laughing, crying, venting, but most of all, the time we spent growing closer. We sat and talked about life in 3 different apartments in those 2 years that seemed to pass by too fast. As Saturday quickly approaches, I realize our friendship will change even more than it already has, but how could it not? Just know I am happy for you as you start the journey to the rest of your life. There’s just a few things I want you to know.

1. Take it all in and just breathe. Saturday is going to be one of the happiest days of your life. It’s going to be a day filled with lots of make-up, hairspray, pictures, flowers, but most of all, joy. I hope your big day is everything you want and more.

2. Even though it will be a day filled with laughter, smiles, and joy, it’s okay to feel a little sad. As many of your closest families members enter the room where you’ll be getting ready, I’m sure you will have an overwhelming sense of sadness. I’m more than sure some tears will be shed as you think of your Poppy who isn’t here to see you, but just know he’s watching over you and smiling because you look so beautiful. It’s okay to cry Saturday because things are changing, but just know we all love you so much. 

3. Don’t forget to look back and remember your big day. As the life you and Luke live together pans out, don’t forget to reminisce on what that big day held for both of you. I’m sure he will have some stories to tell about the day long adventure all of those boys had. And I’m also sure you will have some stories to tell about what us girls did. But as you’re looking back on your wedding day, smile and laugh about it. It’s one of the happiest days you will spend together. 

4. It’s all about you. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress this day holds, but in the end, it’s all about you and Luke. All of your family and friends are there to celebrate your life and your love together. 

For now, just relax and try not to stress. Saturday is closer than we think. I can’t wait to see all of your hard work and planning pay off to become your very own Disney fairytale. I can’t wait to stand by your side. 

Here’s to your forever love!

I love you, 

Demi

To My Guy Best Friend

Many people will tell you that it is impossible to have a completely platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex if both of you are heterosexual. I’ve had people tell me it’s not possible many times, and those people normally refuse to believe anything different when I tell them I have my very own guy best friend. Don’t get me wrong here, having my group of girls is nice, but having a guy best friend lets me escape from all the girly things. Having a guy best friend isn’t something every girl gets to experience, but I am thankful I am one of the girls that do. 

Thank you for always being there no matter what time it is. Sometimes it feels like my world is falling apart, but you’re always there to remind me how far I’ve come, as well as how far I have left to go. I can always count on you to be awake when my anxiety is kicking in, and I just can’t sleep. 

Thank you for always being there with open arms and laughter. I talk to you every single day, and the conversation never gets dull. Laughter is the best medicine, and I couldn’t thank you enough for the amount of laughter you have put into my life. 

Thank you for always asking me for my advice when your life takes a turn you didn’t expect. Even though I know you’re going to do whatever your heart desires, I am more than willing to help you anyway. 
Thank you for your great taste in music. I never actually knew there was another person in this world who could sing every lyric to every Eric Church song until I met you. 

Thank you for your positivity and the push you gave me to get out of my comfort zone. Everyday I watch you step a little more out of your comfort zone, and I watch society get a little more uneasy about it. I wouldn’t have made that first step, or continued walking forward without looking back, without your unending support, positivity, and passion to do what you love. 

Thank you for proving good guys do exist. Many girls go their entire life without knowing how they should be treated. I can say I know what a “good guy” should be because I’ve watched you treat the woman you love like a queen. I can also thank you for the willingness to take care of anyone who doesn’t treat me like a queen. 

Thank you for promising to save me from loneliness and being willing to marry me if we both end up alone at 30. Also, thank you for not sharing all of those embarrassing pictures you have of me. It’s probably only because you know it will cause me to be alone at 30, then you will have to marry me. 

Thank you for always being willing to have ice cream with me even if it’s not our cheat day. Thank you for justifying our walk around Nashville as cardio just so we didn’t have to go to the gym that day. Thank you for always being down for an adventure or pizza… or both. 

Thank you for just being in my life to help guide me the best way you know how. You are truly an inspiration, and having you as a friend means I will never believe I am not enough. 

I am thankful for this sarcastic, supportive, adventurous, and loving friendship. I am thankful to call you my best guy friend. It means so much to know you will forever be just a phone call or text away. 

Your Best Friend (or maybe second best😉),

Chels

Message 

I Owe You

Many people in my life would tell me I don’t owe you anything. I don’t even owe you this explanation as to why my life changed for the better, but I guess I’m just a little more courteous than you ever were. I came to terms with the fact that I owe you nothing in return for the nothing you gave me a long time ago, but for some reason these same two words keep popping up in my head every time I think of you, or God forbid I even say it…of “us.” So what could I possibly owe you? What could possibly come to my mind in two words that you want to hear? As absurd as this may sound, I owe you a simple “Thank you.” 

Thank you for:

1. Allowing me to find my self-worth somewhere beneath all of your ridiculousness. Had I never met you, I would never know I was worth more than…the way you treated me. I’ll just leave it at that. 😉 It’s better that way.

2. Allowing me to better myself after I left you in my rear view. Had I never met you, I wouldn’t have motivation to feel better, look better, and be an all-around better person.

3. Allowing me to find God with a much stronger relationship than I had with him before you walked into my life. Had I never met you, I wouldn’t have turned to him with such a loss for words when I knew it was all over for good. I wouldn’t have counted on him day in and day out for strength to be that better person I was just talking about. 

4. Allowing me to find myself in this mess of a world. Had I never met you, I would’ve never went on a journey of self-discovery after I realized I lost myself chasing you. I haven’t even found all of myself, but I can tell you I love this new girl I have found so much more. 

5. Allowing me to achieve a more mature lifestyle. Had I never met you, I would’ve never known that immaturity is my least favorite human characteristic. But we all go through it, right? I guess some of us never grow out of it. By “some of us,” I actually mean you. 

I’ve heard many people say, “When a heart breaks, it doesn’t break even.” I’ll just go ahead and rub it in your face that I got the better half of this deal. It may have been a deal I didn’t want to make, but God was looking out for my best interest. It would’ve been painful for me to say this months ago, but now it rolls off my tongue with ease; my best interest was never you. But I thank God, and of course you because I can’t forget that, for everything. 

And one more thing before you go… If you ever find your way back, I also owe you a beer for my record year. 😉

Rae☀️

You Shouldn’t be Someone’s Other Half

“The other half of me is already here…”

I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, “He/She is my other half.” Maybe you’ve even heard someone utter the phrase, “They’re my better half.” Just think about that for a second. Think about what that person said, or maybe even think about what you have said in the past relating to a phrase like this.

Half of something is 50% of it. Half of something will always be 50% no matter how hard you try to change it, so is that really settling with you? What I’m saying is when you’re someone’s other half, you’re only half of a human yourself. You’re only 50% of what you could be.

This society thrives on a good success story. There’s nothing better than someone having the drive to actually succeed. However, do you succeed by only giving 50% of what you could? No, you have to give 100%. You have to give it your all; you have to be whole in order to do something so great. If we thrived on success in love the way we thrived on success in careers, sports, money, etc., then we would see that it is acceptable to give 100% of yourself and feel no backlash. Love is an important aspect of life, and we should never lower a standard of expectation.

The phrase “my other half” goes hand-in-hand with the phrase “you complete me.” Of course girls everywhere want to hear those words come from the guy that makes their stomach have butterflies. Of course that phrase just makes girls swoon over what could be the love of their life. But don’t be fooled, Ladies. Don’t be his other half. Don’t complete him.

The best thing you can do for someone is let them be whole before you walk into their life. The best thing you can do for yourself is make sure you are whole before you allow them into your life. It is possible to make someone better and to help them grow as an individual, but you should never complete them. Each of you are individuals who should be complete by God himself. Being complete is not the job of a significant other.

Love is one of the most beautiful things in the world. It can take us completely by surprise. It can turn our world around. It can better us. It can make sure we know our worth. Love can do so many things for a person, and it is able to open up an emotion some have never felt before. Love simply makes the world go round.

If love is so beautiful, then why would you give half of yourself to it? Would you give half of yourself to that work project your boss just put on your desk to finish before Monday? Probably not. If that’s getting all of you, then love should to.

Never in my life do I want to be someone else’s other half. Never. It’s not because I don’t want to experience love; it’s because I’m already whole. The other half of me is already here; I found her a long time ago. I want you to be whole. I want you to give love 100%– not 50%.

Whole does not mean “perfect.” Perfect does not exist, and I’m aware of that. However, whole does exist. Strive to give love 100% because it’s something this society lacks in. Love is often swept under the rug due to fear of hurt. People often think it is acceptable to give 50% because only half of you gets hurt. But think of it this way… What if you would’ve experienced the greatest love story of all time if you would’ve just given 100%? It’s an entire 50% more you have to offer to someone.

Never look for your other half. Look for another whole. That’s when love becomes the best thing you’ve experienced. Don’t complete someone. Instead, grow together to make the person you are an all around better person.

Rae

To My Grandpa Who’s in Heaven

Dear Grandpa, 
As May 8th approaches, my emotions begin to get a little heavier with each passing day. My heart starts to ache a little more. And as you fill my mind with countless memories, I begin to hold each one closer to this aching heart of mine. They say time heals wounds, but 3 years hasn’t been enough time to heal the wound of my broken heart after you left. 

I cannot be mad at you for leaving us so soon. What you’re seeing in Heaven is much better than what you were feeling down here; I’m absolutely sure of it. I’m truly unable to express how much I miss you. The English dictionary provides words for my use, but I just can’t seem to put them together in a way that shows that kind of emotion. 

You played such a vital role in the life of my sister and I, as well as Brennan and Mary Brantley. Your strong Christian faith and the life you lived as a God-fearing man taught me a lot about this world. It taught me a lot about who I should strive to be. Your love for this country and the pride you had in your service for this country taught me a true American should love this land, as well as stand up for it when the time calls. Your undying love for Grandma for 53 years taught me to never settle for love because a love like that is not something you can settle for. 

The most heart wrenching fact about death is that you will never be able to physically see, hear, or touch that person again in this lifetime. Once someone leaves their life on Earth behind to enter those beautiful gates of Heaven, you will not experience their presence again until you too have entered those same gates. That’s one of the hardest realizations I’ve had to come to over the past 3 years, and I’m not sure I’m there yet. I still say, “I’m going to Grandma and Grandpa’s.” I know you’re not going to physically be there, but I also know you wouldn’t miss a visit from me for anything. 

I really just want you to know a few things. I sleep with your bear nearly every night. Your knives are in my room. The shells we picked up from the guns they shot off at your funeral are neatly placed on my desk. There’s a picture of me and you where everyone can see it. But most of all, I want you to know I graduate college soon. I actually just picked up my cap and gown, and I wish more than anything I could tell you all about it. I wish more than anything I could see your face light up as I tell you I got a 92 on my FACS 497 test last week. One thing you were always concerned about was my education, and I will be forever thankful for that. 

I placed a letter in your hand the day of your funeral, but I don’t doubt I should say it again. So thank you, Grandpa. Thank you for making me the person I am today. Thank you for making me strive to do better in life (even if you did have to bribe me 🙂 ). Thank you for being a role model of hard work for my dad as he was growing up. Thank you for raising my dad to be the best dad in the world. Thank you for being an example of a genuine man. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for always taking pictures. Thank you for being the same man on Sunday morning that you were on Saturday night. Thank you for serving this country with pride. Thank you for all the stories and life lessons. Thank you for loving all 4 of us grandchildren unconditionally. Thank you for everything. I can never say thank you enough for teaching me, loving me, pushing me, or spoiling me, but I will always try. 

I can only hope Heaven is as beautiful as you pictured. One day I will see it for myself, but until then, keep your arms wrapped around us. God will keep us strong and safe down here, and he will keep you pain free and forever young up there. Take pictures, so you can show us what we missed. I cannot wait to see you again. 

I miss you more than I could ever say.

I love you.

Chelsey Rae☀️

P.S. 

I still smell my money when grandma gives it to me. Sometimes I just have a little glimmer of hope that you held onto it for days just so I would be happy. 

May 8th, 2013 ❤️

I Can’t Love You

I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one person

I am willing to bet on, it’s myself. -Beyoncé

It’s not that I am turning down the idea of someone loving me to the end of the Earth. It’s not that I don’t want to feel a love like that. It’s not that I will let you down by not giving it my all. It’s the simple fact that I need to take the time to love myself first. It’s the fact that in order to allow someone to love me that much, I need to love myself that much first.

One thing I have always been told is, “Live for yourself. Make yourself happy.” Those two sentences stick with me every single day. If I cannot make myself happy, then how could I possibly make someone else happy? I am not doubting my ability to care about someone; I am actually doubting my ability to add another person to my life in a way that could change mine forever.

I want to be able to get through a day without having to lean on someone. I want to be able to get up and go whenever I wish. I want to be able to drive for hours while listening to music that brings back a flood of memories without having to tell someone why I won’t be answering the phone for a while. I want to be able to sit by myself on the edge of the water somewhere without having to say a word. I want to be able to be comfortable being on my own in all of my endeavors before I add another person.

Some might say it’s selfish to think this way, but I say it’s the best way to find out who you want to be. I’m not lost. I’m making sure I have a clear mind before I start the journey to the rest of my life. “The rest of my life” meaning my career and my life outside of Bowling Green, Kentucky. If I choose to move away, I don’t want to leave someone behind. I don’t want to worry about what is going on in that town they’re in. I don’t want to worry if I made the right decision to get up and get on with my life.

I want to make every decision for myself. I want to make sure I am happy, so I can one day give you the best of me. I want to feel secure in the life I choose for myself. I want to love myself unconditionally every time I look in the mirror. I want to be who God intended for me to be because I know she’s out there somewhere; I just have to find her.

I really don’t want to sound selfish. Selfish is not my intention right now. I can only hope you understand and want the best for me too. One person you can always count on is yourself, and I have to be there for myself right now. It’s not that I won’t ever love you. It’s not that I am choosing someone else over you. It’s not that I don’t wish I could. It’s the simple fact that I can’t love you right now. I am trying to love myself.

Rae