Thursday, October 17, 2013

A letter to Martha.

No one should ever have to say goodbye to a friend. 

I am heartbroken to have to write this blog post, but I’ve been thinking, writing, praying and crying over it for days and I want to share. It seems as if my words can never adequately express the loss and sadness I feel, but they definitely cannot even begin to describe the thankfulness for the life of my sweet friend Martha, who was taken so suddenly from us this weekend while I was at Homecoming with my other best friends.

Out of all my friends who don’t have blogs of their own, she was the the biggest fan of my little corner of the blogosphere. She was my accountability partner and would always text me, especially after graduation, nagging that I hadn’t updated in a while. We would both laugh about how our lives really aren’t that exciting and that neither of us would have anything to write about.

One of Martha’s favorite things was to write letters. Especially while she was at Camp DeSoto, we would be pen pals and share about our summers to get over the time apart until we could all be back at Wofford again. Marth even sent Andrew and I a sweet housewarming card, one that I’ve always kept close but now keep it on the fridge so I can think of Martha every morning. Thanks for loving my blog and loving me, Martha. I hope you are reading this letter one way or another, since I’m pretty sure you can’t put a price on the postage it would take to send it to where you undoubtedly are now.
my favorite picture of Martha

Dear Martha/HM/Marfa/Bestie-for-the-Restie:

I am so thankful that our friendship blossomed over these past few years at Wofford. I love that we ended up sitting next to each other in Jenny Johnson’s accounting class and then in our favorite finance class (jokes). Thank goodness you were there because I’m really only good with words and I would have been so lost without your help.

I’m glad that you were someone who understood my obsession with social media—formulating the perfect phrase in under 140 characters, choosing the perfect filter, etc.—and that we could talk about our Klout scores and say “Imma tweet that!” after every laughable, quotable moment.

Thanks for also boo-hooing with me over a million wedding videos. My heart is absolutely broken knowing that you will never have a wedding of your own.  You were one of the most excited of my friends the night Andrew proposed, and I will never forget how you brought us all Ring Pops for our post-ring celebration! I will always cherish my beautiful wedding photos, but I am especially grateful that you stood by my side in the turquoise dress with your gorgeous, fiery mane (as you called it) this past summer as you supported Andrew and me in our covenant of marriage. Though you will never get to plan the “camp-y” wedding we always talked about, you have stood, clothed in white linens, prepared as the bride of Christ, sanctified and justified by His love. How can I cry knowing this is true?!

I just wish I could call you. As silly as it sounds, I really do. I really wish I could hear your voice and talk about what kind of crazy customers we got today, what shenanigans Bear got into, or how hard it is to be patient and trust in God’s will in life post-Wofford.

I always wanted to come visit Nashville, but this was not the way I ever envisioned it would go. The past few days in Nashville for your visitation and funeral were so hard but so wonderful at the same time. What a blessing it was to see the many parts of your life collide in one place to remind me how special of a girl you are. It was so great to meet your Episcopal friends and DeSoto sisters, reunite with so many fellow Terriers, and hug your strong family. As weird as it sounds, with all my best friends around me, all I could think was that something was missing. And that something was you. As much as I am missing you, I am so thankful you gave me the biggest, best hug ever on Friday night. I will never forget that. Thanks for letting this "hugger" into your personal bubble and letting me love on you, even though you were not always okay with it :)

Life will never be back to the “normal” it was before, and my heart aches as I anticipate tomorrow morning when I will have to get up and go into work, just like I did last week when you were with me. I’m sad, and it’s okay to be sad for a while. However, I am so encouraged by how you lived your life, Martha. You were a friend to all and such a light for the Lord. I will never forget the many wonderful experiences we had in RUF with ministry team and making hundreds of waffles and being the loser seniors who played with the guinea pigs instead of mingling. Your love and dependence on Jesus was so evident, and that is what gives me comfort. You showed so many campers and fellow counselors at Camp DeSoto the love of Christ, and because of that I know that you are doing line dances and rejoicing in heaven.

I remember you telling me your favorite verse, and I will carry it with me in the upcoming bittersweet days:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
-John 14:27

Martha, though you are no longer a phone call away, I rejoice that you undoubtedly know the full extent of the peace of our Savior. I love you so much and I will see you before I know it. 

junior year spring break in the dirty myrtle!

senior year boy's bid day

senior year spring break in St. Martin!

bachelorette fun!

interim 2012 in Australia

Wofford football with my best friends!

RUF seniors with our favorite campus minister!

....and that, my friends, is dear Marth defined in a photograph. I can't help but smile.

Thank you so much to all my blog and "real life" friends who have already showered me and Martha's family with love and prayers for healing. So thankful for each and every one of you. Go call your best friend and ask them how their day was-- you will never regret it. 



  1. Ryann, I can't imagine how hard these past few days (or week) has been for you, let alone writing this letter. Even through this hard time you somehow find the positive in it and that shows how great of a person you are. Know that Martha is looking down, of course reading your blog, and certainly wanting to tweet you something funny :) Cherish the photos and the happy memories- those will never go away!!! LOVE YOU FRIEND

  2. Oh Ryann, I'm so very sorry to hear about the loss of such a dear friend. I lost one of my close friends from high school and it is definitely a tough time. This post is beautiful and a great tribute to a great friend. I hope that you remember her bright, bubbly personality and let it shine through you! Remember her always, and rejoice in knowing that she is comforted and surrounded by Jesus' love, and that you'll get to see your precious friend again! Praying for you sweet girl!

  3. Ryann, I have been thinking about you all week and praying for you and sweet Martha's family. I am so sorry you are having to go through this - no one our age should lose a friend! She seemed like such a wonderful person and full of Christ. How comforting it is to know that you will see her again; although, that doesn't make being here and in the now any less sad and painful. Thinking of you, love.

  4. Ryann, I hate that this has occurred and I cannot imagine the pain and tears you have shed over the past week but this post is a beautiful tribute to your friend and your love for her. While we take comfort in her ultimate peace with God is is painful to mourn the passing of someone who has such an impact on your life. I know that God has an ultimate plan for this and you can take Martha's love for the Lord and life and spread it through you. Matthew 5:4 I know that you will see Martha eventually and together you will have a big party and reunion but for now she is watching over you and Andrew. I wish I could drive over to Raleigh and give you a big hug right now! I will continue to pray for you and her family for peace and comfort!

  5. I've been thinking and praying for Martha's family and all of yall throughout the week. Wishing yall peace and comfort during this difficult time. Love seeing all of the pictures, yall are such a fun group, and it's such a tribute to Martha :)

  6. What a beautifully written post Ryann! My heart breaks for you over losing Martha and I will be in constant prayer for healing of your heart. I am sure that Martha is sending you lots of love from heaven!

  7. What a beautiful tribute, Ryann! This letter brought tears to my eyes--so beautifully written. As I said before, I can't imagine what you are going through. I've been praying for you and Martha's family this week. In the coming days and weeks, I hope you find peace and although Martha isn't a phone call away, she's still always with you. Treasure the pictures, laughs and all the wonderful memories. Hugs to you, friend!

  8. Praying for you and Martha's family daily. May piece be brought to you all!

  9. Ryann, so sorry I am late in reading this post and so sorry you are experiencing something like this. The loss of a friend is never ever an easy thing, but I took heart in knowing that she is in a better place and am so glad that you did, too. I'm keeping you, her friends, and her family in my prayers. Love you!!