A belated “thank you”

By Mayeli Vivaldo , Editor in chief

Life is extremely difficult at times.

I have had my fair share of hardships and challenges thrown at me by life or people. During those times, it seemed like the world was coming to an end. I truly struggled.

My motivation and determination were drained out of me and there were times when I nearly gave up, when I almost let the momentary hardships win, but there were key friends and family members who have always been there to pick me up whenever I’m near rock bottom.

But, due to my character, it’s difficult for me to explicitly thank those people.

I express my gratitude through actions, not words and although it’s true that actions speak louder than words, sometimes words are needed for reassurance.

I hope these letters will reach those people who I wholeheartedly love and appreciate.

I also hope these letters motivate others to do the same as I and thank, through words in whatever form that is, the people they love.


The first letter is addressed to my mother.


Our relationship can be a bit rocky and sometimes I can really frustrate you, but I hope you know I love and appreciate everything you’ve done for me.

I’m a teenager and I’m sorry for my dumb, teenager comments and actions.

I promise once I get over my teenager syndrome, I’ll stop bugging and annoying you.

You have done so much for me, mom, you really have.

You left the comfort of your home and ventured into an unknown, scary place, all for me.

You worked for hours and days, with only 3 hours to sleep, all for me.

You forced yourself to learn English so you could attend the meetings and events that I so desperately wanted to you to go to when I was a child.

You put up with my endless, ignorant rants, but, no matter how much I irk you, your love for me remains the same.

Thank you for your hard work, and I promise, I truly do, I will grow up to be someone you’re proud of. I won’t let the opportunity you gave me go to waste. I’ll become the best person I can be and I won’t forget about you.

I love you, mom.


The second letter is addressed to my father.


I love you dad, and I’ve only just recently started to tell you that. I’m sorry for that. You deserve a million “I love you’s” and a million hugs.

You understand and love my weird, quirky personality.

You always make me laugh with your overused dad jokes.

You’ve always been by my side, cheering me on, and telling me how proud you are of me.

I’ve always strived to be the best student I can be because of you. All of my success academically, it’s all thanks to you.

Thank you so much, dad, for being the best, funniest dad in the world.



The third letter is addressed to my childhood, best friend.

Mayra Garcia,

You are a friend like no other.

In my earliest childhood memories, you are there. We have been friends for more than 13 years.

There is so much you have done for me throughout that time and not enough words to thank you.

You were there when I was bullied and even put your own reputation and safety on the line to stand up to the bullies. You are the noblest person I know and every day, I strive to be like you.

Your fearless confidence inspired me to never tolerate any downgrading comments and to be confident in myself. I am the person I am because of you and your never-ending confidence in me. You believed in me even when I didn’t.

Over everything, I want to thank you especially for comforting me when my life was turned upside down. You never once left my side and constantly checked up on me and although you might not know it, by doing this, you saved my life. Thank you so much.

Thank you for giving me the strength, when I needed it the most, to fight my illness. You gave me the will to continue walking down my path and the courage to look at the future rather than the past.

You gave me a shoulder to cry on when my life took rough turns, when my heart was broken, or even for ridiculous reasons, but you never judged me and I want to thank you for that too. Regardless of the craziest things I would do or say, you were always the one person to comprehend me and that too is a reason why I am still here, healthy and happy.

You have always received me and treated me with love and compassion and that alone means so much to me.

Various obstacles and challenges have been thrown at our friendship, but you never gave up. Even now that you live nearly an hour away from, you continue to be the closest friend I have ever had. You mean the world to me.

Thank you for not only being the most wonderful friend I have ever had but for being a loving and sympathetic person.


The fourth letter is addressed to my wonderful sister.


I know life has been particularly harsh on you.

I especially know that I will never come close to understanding the pain and trauma you have faced throughout your life.

I’ve only seen a fraction of the agony you feel. That small glimpse into your heart is enough to make me cry.

You’ve gone through so much yet you continue to fight and battle and for that, I am thankful. Thank you for never giving up and for being my role model. Because of you, I refuse to give up.

I don’t think I’ve ever told you this which, now that I reflect on it, is horrible, but I love you. I know expressing our love and gratitude for one another is especially hard for you and me, but I do not want to go on with my life without telling you that you mean so much to me and that you are loved, regardless of what you might think.

Although our relationship was incredibly broken and unstable during my childhood, I want you to know that I never once hated you. Nothing you have done or will do will ever cause me to hate you.

In fact, I want to apologize to you for not ever understanding you, not until now.

I was a child and ignorant, I was blind to the pain that you desperately wanted me to understand. I apologize for never being a sister that you could open your heart to or rely on.

I’m sorry I never understood your cries for help, but I’m so very thankful that you understood mine.

At one point in my life, I was broken and on the brink of giving up, but you saved me. You understood me and you hugged me and told me everything would be okay. I love you so much for that. I never once thanked you for that, so I will tell you now: Thank you so much.

Thank you for loving me regardless of who I am, who I love, or what I love. Although some aspects of me you don’t understand, thank you for never making me feel like I was strange for being who I am.

Thank you for being not only being a caring sister, but a truly wonderful friend I can open my heart to.


The fourth letter is addressed to an old friend.


I will never see you again, if I do, it won’t be for a long time.

You filled my life with joy.

I treasured every moment we spent together. I only had a year to spend with you.

If I had known things would end the way they did, I would have cherished and appreciated you so much more than I did.

I hope you know that I loved you, truly and deeply, for you were the person who helped me the most in accepting myself.

You made me feel comfortable with my body, my flaws, everything.

Time seemed nonexistent when I was with you. I wish time truly was nonexistent, so I could spend an infinite amount of time with you.

I’m sorry everything fell apart. I’m sorry I was too much of a coward to ever tell you or show you the significant value you had in my life and I am especially sorry for leaving you when you needed me the most.

Regardless, even the hardship we faced, I am thankful for. It taught me to cherish those I love and the time I have with them.

Thank you for the momentary, but significant happiness and joy.


The fifth and final letter is addressed to my incredible journalism teacher Laura Kuehn.

Ms. Kuehn,

You are the most important and treasured teacher in my life.

You didn’t just teach me how to write for a newspaper, you taught me how to believe in myself.

When I first met you, I lacked so much confidence in myself. I was such an antisocial and scared girl. I would constantly doubt myself and tell you that the stories I wrote were horrible, but you never once let me believe that. You always told me to believe in myself and you would tell how great of a job I would do on my stories.

Eventually, you told me those things so many times that I actually came to believe them.

I became confident in my work, and especially, in myself.

You made me realize the talent I have for writing, but beyond that, you made me realize my value.

You helped me slowly rid of my pessimistic nature and perspective.

Thank you so much for that. The confidence you have given has especially helped me so much now, as an adult on the path to college.

You are a wonderful, hilarious, and inspiring teacher, Ms. Kuehn.

I am so lucky to have you as a teacher.