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Hayley Murray
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Look at the world around you and you’ll find love shoved in a box

Colored with store bought wrapping paper and topped with a bow

But only for those who didn’t know Kilcey Penrose

The secret of the ocean is that it embraces and holds tight to everything in its grasp while also allowing the freedom to explore and take on new form

It rolls with the storms and dances alongside the rain

It takes in the warmth of the sun in summer but builds up its own defense in winter to protect what’s within its hands.

You are our ocean

Giving peace and serenity to the world around you while passing out punches when necessary

Holding tight to those you love and loving us in every season no matter the mood we picked out as an outfit that day

You would never tell us to go change

Your love knew no corners but took on the fluidity of the ocean

While it was tremendously beautiful, it left room for more than the world’s definition of beauty

And you, you were the true definition of beautiful

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder

And if that is the case and the heaven’s have eyes, they’d be set on you

Watching as you loved, protected, worked, goofed around, took on mountains like pebbles and even in the moments the hurdles seemed too high, they’d smile as you continued to climb

As the record that is our words repeats, “Remember that time…”

Know that no matter how much we cherish each and every one of those memories, it’s you we’re remembering. Not just moments in time

Before work last Tuesday morning I sat down to write you a Christmas card

In the very first line, I boldly let you know that if you didn’t want to go paddle boarding with me like we had agreed to do at least once a week, you could have simply told me no

A sarcastic joke. A sad attempt to make you smile. But we both knew I’ve never been that funny

And then I got the call. At 9:31 words I didn’t want to hear made my ears feel like they wanted to bleed

Our ocean had been set free. And while you’re no longer here to keep each of us company, we’ll be reminded on the days it rains, your love will never leave

I’ve only been in Galveston for 4 short years and I always wished I had met you at the beginning of those 4 years instead of 6 months in. When I think of you, I think of nights on rooftops spent talking for hours, you challenging everything I thought and believed, middle of the night phone calls, snapchats each day of your favorite songs, Grey’s Anatomy and Frozen, you taking care of my sister and I, days after work spent at Tsunami catching up and joking about the gifts we were going to send Alyssa, hours spent trying to beat James and Corey’s scores, the batting cages, so many laughs while catering, waitressing and bartending at Yaga’s and I’ll always think about the last weekend before your accident. You, Alyssa and Tyler forced me outside of my work bubble to go paddle boarding after eating at The Original, we walked around Art Walk, went to Board Game Island and then Sky Bar for sushi. I almost didn’t go. I almost said no because I had more work I needed to get done.

We spent hours out on the water talking about how peaceful it was to be away from the craziness of tourists on our little island. You laughed at us each time we fell and I listened as you kept encouraging Alyssa and Tyler to try again. I think it’s safe to say Tyler listened quite well, falling in the water nearly 20 times and each time popping right back up. But I think my favorite part was the end before we left to shower and meet up again. The waves were growing near the shore and you had us all standing up laughing like crazy each time we fell. I can’t even remember the amount of times we fell just from laughing at each other falling. I’m so glad my little brother got to meet you.

That was the day I lost my shirt to the ocean and you let me borrow your towel. That towel has sat in my car for the last two months waiting to be returned. Seems silly to say but now it’s something I’ll hold on to forever.

That day you posted this photo and called it your happy place. I couldn’t be more thankful we got to spend that day with you in your happy place.


Thank you for loving everyone around you so well and for letting each of us be a part of your profound life. You better believe every single year for Relay for Life I’ll be on that track walking for you no matter where I am.

“Most people were heartless about turtles because a turtle’s heart will beat for hours after it has been cut up and butchered. But the old man thought, I have such a heart too.”
― Ernest HemingwayThe Old Man and the Sea

You always had such a strong heart. You’ll never fully know the impact you had on my life and me as a person. Even now, you’re still giving me a courage I’ve never had and teaching me to slow down.

So much love for you, Kilc.

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