28 JUNE 2017

Dear Barb,

I was waiting until today to write my response to your letter. For today is THE day. The day when I imagine you kicking ass at your tournament.

As I'm writing this, I know that you're playing your doubles. Most of the things you told me last night didn't make a lot of sense but I know that in about four hours, you have your singles - the single most important thing that you've trained for in the past few months. I don't know if you're going to read this before you get up there but if you do, here's what I want you to see:

You've faced some of the most important and difficult exams of your medical career in the past few months and not even once did you stop and say, "You know what? I have an important exam tomorrow so I'm going to skip my Table Tennis training so that I can prepare for it". You worked round the clock and found the time to study as well as train. And you emerged out of every exam hall with the highest possible score and even bagged a scholarship for your final medical training. So whether or not you bag a medal for your country this evening is irrelevant because, at the end of the day, no one but you will have that sweet satisfaction of knowing that you gave your all to this cause.

Speaking of scholarships, your parents have not had to spend a single penny on your medical education as your government sponsored you for your hard work and discipline. I know you're struggling to find sponsors for your sports endeavors but have patience. It will come to you. I have a very deep conviction that for the 2019 games, Gibraltar government will be sponsoring you. You've worked hard for it and when it happens, I will only say, you've earned it.

On top of the sleepless nights you spent studying and the early mornings you spent training, you've spent a lot of evenings with me, working on all our joint endeavors. I've seen you struggle to keep your eyes open on some days but you always showed up and you always gave as much energy as possible to all your projects. You've had moments where people you trusted to take over for a bit have disappointed you, and you've had moments when people who couldn't match up to your work ethic have frustrated you. You sometimes lost your cool but most of these times, you found your footing and went back to speak to them ever so politely. You've done a great job and for being a good, kind and polite human being to all those around you even when you were under so much stress, I applaud you.

Finally, you've been an amazing friend to me through a very rough patch that you witnessed first hand. You listened whenever I wanted to vent and gave me patient advice when you found me stuck. You've been extremely kind and I can never forget that about you. Thank you!

What I'm trying to say is, in the past few months, you've done it all and you've done me proud. I want you to be conscious of your accomplishments and feel proud at the end of this day, no matter what the outcome is going to be. I want you to be happy today and everyday.


P.S Oh, look! I turned you into a gif on giphy!