Hannah and I became friends in 6th grade. I was still sort of new to public school, as I had transferred in the year before, and I was nervous about being in different classes from the friends I had made. Hannah, with her kind heart and outgoing persona, befriended me in Mr. Harvey’s class. I remember her being the goofball of the class, and always laughing at her jokes and silly antics. We bonded over a silly show on Nickelodeon, House of Anubis, that we were both heavily invested in. We would watch the new episodes weekly and come into class excited to talk about the plot and to theorize what was going to happen. I am so thankful for that show, because it helped bring me closer to such an amazing friend. The worries about not fitting in and not making friends went away because someone as great as Hannah wanted to be friends with me and that was enough to give me confidence. She opened me up to a whole new group of people and helped me make friends I would have been too shy to befriend before that. She was spontaneous and everything with her was an adventure.
One of my favorite adventures with her was going to the “abandoned farm” in the woods behind her house with a bunch of our friends. It was creepy and I was intimidated, but Hannah just wanted to explore it. She was so confident and so brave, and I was envious of that. I wanted to be like her because she was always smiling and making people smile. That day at the farm, while we were exploring, we heard a car drive up and all of us ran. It felt like something in a movie, and while running, someone tripped and fell into a small stream. The adrenaline was coursing through my blood like never before, and I was terrified but also had never felt more alive. We all came tumbling out of the woods, looked at each other, and could not stop laughing. Hanging out with Hannah was always exciting like that and full of laughter. Every single moment I spent with her is one I treasure, and I always wish there were more. I think about her every single day, and a lot of the time, the pain in my heart is still there.
We’re all growing up, graduating and becoming adults, and she deserved to do that with us. I know God had another plan for her, but I miss her and wish it were different. She was someone I admired in 6th grade and that hasn’t changed. I try to live my life how she would live hers, without regrets and with love and compassion. Hannah was and will always be the strongest person I have ever known, with the biggest heart too. She was a beautiful girl, inside and out, and I am so lucky to have been able to call her my friend. I know she’s out there watching somewhere, and I really hope she knows how much she was loved.
Sue’s additional comments:
I feel Hannah’s presence with me every day, but some days her signs are stronger than others. One day last week, I was in Hannah’s room looking for a notecard. I keep a box of cards in her closet and while in there I happened to look at the necklaces that are hanging on a rack on the closet wall – I haven’t touched them in years, but for some reason I picked up and opened the homemade necklace Hannah had made – she had been obsessed with a show she would watch with two of her girlfriends, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of the show, but I clearly remember her working so hard on this specific necklace, and she was so proud when she finished. Inside the necklace was the word “Sibuna” along with their names. After I had looked at it, I found the notecard I was looking for and went on with my day. Later that SAME evening, Sydney messaged me and sent me the above beautiful memory of Hannah. In it, she talks about that show they were obsessed with, “House of Anubis”. Syd told me the “Sibuna” is Anubis spelled backwards and it was one of the secret codes. I’ve always said, there are no coincidences in this life, and it was no coincidence that I picked up that necklace on the SAME day that Syd messaged me, after not having looked at the necklaces In years. Not a doubt in my mind, it was Hannah, letting us both know that she will be with us, always.
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Hannah Duffy Foundation
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