The first time I met Hannah was in seventh grade. We had only two classes together, but quickly become close friends. Hannah was one of those people that had an inviting smile, infectious laugh, and welcoming aura that made you feel as if you’d known her for your whole life, even if you had just met. When she was assigned the seat next to me in math class, we started talking and never stopped. In the short years I knew Hannah, we made many memories which turned into stories I tell to share her carefree and kind spirit with those who didn’t know her.
My favorite memory of Hannah was at my thirteenth birthday party. It was getting dark and everyone decided to play a game of manhunt. They were splitting into two teams and although it was my birthday, I felt lost in the group of kids yelling and shouting over one another, trying to choose teams. In the midst of the chaos, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to Hannah saying, “I want to be on your team! Come on, let's go hide!”. We ran to hide and ended up climbing a tree. We sat up there talking, laughing, and telling stories until we heard people yelling that parents were showing up and the party was over. We somehow climbed and tumbled our way out of the tiny space we were squished into and picked the pine needles out of each other’s hair before we returned to the group. She was always coming up with fun, out of the box ideas to make other people smile. During one of the many times we went over to drop off Robbie, Hannah and I played “ball pit basketball” in the small bounce house in her basement. It was ridiculous and we were way too big, so there was a lot more laughing and falling then basketball playing, but it’s memories like that one that can always bring a smile to my face.
My friendship with Hannah is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. I wear her fingerprint necklace every day to keep her close to me and plan on sharing her story and the memories I have her with the people I know, people I’ll meet, and even my own children one day. People are lucky to know someone with the same warm and loving spirit as Hannah, I was lucky enough to have her as a friend and can only hope my sisters, Robbie, and people I love can experience being friends with someone who is even a quarter of the person that Hannah was. It is my goal every day to embody the positive energy and kind soul that was Hannah Duffy, and be the same kind of friend she was to me, to everyone I meet. It has been almost eight years since I have last seen Hannah, but no matter how much time goes on, her memory will live on in me and through me, for the rest of my life.