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  1. Happy Earth Day and thank God for this wonderful world. ?
  2. Dear Earth, The blackness of space is pressing in on me and no matter what I do the pressure gets worse with every minute. Thinking back, I wonder why we didn’t see the obvious truth that was all around us. The beauty hidden in everyday, in every hour. Maybe the thought of adventure and new words blinded us. Maybe we never see how blessed we are until all of it is taken away. That’s why I’m writing this letter, to tell the truth that I have learned. If only this knowledge had not come at such a high price. If only I could have known this sooner. To all of you people still on Earth, if anyone ever reads this, this is what I have learned and how I’ve learned it… For the first twenty years in space everything was as planed. Food was plentiful and edible, even if it didn’t taste too good. Oxygen was in full supply. We had singing contests and game times, and if that failed we floated around. Floating never got old. We even took turns typing reports in the ships log every day. The stars we passed didn’t look any different than the ones that you can see from your backyard but they were just as beautiful and there was just as many, if not more. We passed solar systems filled with amazing planets, but they had already been explored so we moved on. With the new engines invented in 2062, we were soon outside The Milky Way Galaxy and watching it grow smaller and smaller behind us. Too bad we hadn’t invented a phone that worked in space yet. Although we were in the early stages of the voyage everyone missed those they had left behind, even I missed my few friends and the visits to my family’s graves. The cool feel of the stone soothed me whenever I was stressed out. All my close family is dead. They died when I was twelve. That’s one of the reasons I volunteered to go into space. I was done with Earth, I thought there was nothing for me there. I only wish I had realized how wrong I was before this trip. Anyway, looking back at our small galaxy was amazing. Thinking of the entire human race in that tiny galaxy, on a tinier planet. It was so small, twinkling in the mass of space, all the other galaxies swirling and twinkling with it. The sight was too beautiful for words. It was truly awe-inspiring. About twenty years after we left Earth we reached the first uncharted galaxy. It was a spiral galaxy, like our own, and entering it made everyone’s longing for home sharper. Flying into the first solar system on the edge of the galaxy, we went carefully through the outer stars and into the center. We were looking for a planet we could land on, looking for a new hospitable planet, a new Earth. The spiral galaxy, which we decided to name The Snow Fall Galaxy, had thousands of solar systems inside it. The first solar system only had seven planets. The farthest out, and the largest, was a deep purple-blue. It was too far away from the center star, and made of gases, so we passed it. The second and third planets were really only moons. The next four planets, a gold and red one, a green-blue one with rings, a small dark blue planet as cold and small as Pluto, and a red dusty rock planet. None of which were habitable in the least. It took ten years to explore that solar system and I would be lying if I said we weren’t disappointed. But more disappointment and more misfortune was to be ours after we left that first solar system. I woke up to flashing lights, a spinning ship and a creaking, groaning, splitting of metal. In the night, if you can call it night since it was always dark, we had driven into an asteroid belt that spanned around the solar system at the edge of The Snow Fall Galaxy. An asteroid, going faster than the others, clipped our ship and sent us reeling into another asteroid, ripping the front of our ship off. Half the crew was gone in an instant. I was confused and terrified, everyone was. It was Nickolus Rainforce that saved us by keeping his head. He lead those of us left to the escape pods, which was difficult with everyone on edge and in panic. The artificial gravity was only half working in the dorms and it made it hard for us to walk straight. When everyone was in the pods, he told us to close the doors if he wasn’t back soon. In the thirty years we spent together we all grew close. All the crew felt like family to me. So after losing half the crew I didn’t want to let him go too. Before Nick left, I grabbed his hand, I didn’t say anything but he understood. As I watched his helmeted head disappear around the corner I felt like screaming at him to come back. Telling him not to risk it, that there was no way anyone was still alive at the front of the ship, but I also knew Nick. I knew that if Nick left the ship without checking, it would haunt him for the rest of his life. The thought that even one person had been left to die would have killed him a little inside. So I was quiet and watched with everyone else in silence. The next ten minutes to me were a blur of terrified faces and terror filled whispers. Then Nick came into view, two people ‘walking’ beside him and one more small person in his arms. The two people, Violet White and Peter Willow, went into the other pod. Nick came to our pod, slowly, carrying the small person. Her name was Ray Goldberg. She was soft spoken and kept mostly to herself. Ray was injured; a part of the plating that had flown off when the asteroid hit had slashed into her leg. I ran forward, and a few people followed me. I reached out to help him carry Ray, but just then the people in the other pod decided to launch, shaking the entire, shattered, ship. I grabbed Nick’s arm to keep him and me steady, my heart pounded faster than it ever had before as the jarring and shaking vibrated through me. “Take Ray, don’t worry about me, I’m right behind you.” His words still ring in my mind. I carefully took her. Nick smiled at me, and then the ship started to rip apart. We both fell. I fell back into the pod, someone caught me but I don’t really remember. All I saw was Nick falling the other way and then hitting against the far wall. I shouted his name but my voice was drowned out by the rush and rending of the ship, and the closing of the escape pod’s doors. We ejected from the ship just in time. A second later and pieces from the exploding ship would have crashed into the pod, killing us. I understood why they had closed the doors. I realized why, but I didn’t want to except it. In the moment, as I watched Nick fall away from me, I remembered my family’s deaths. Memories from the crash that had killed everyone but me flashed before my eyes. The pain and the screams. How everything had been fine, until it wasn’t. How I had always wondered why I could remember the crash so clearly, but I could barely remember what my life was like before. Then other memories flashed like lightning across my vision, The moment I had first heard about the voyage into space. The first time the crew had met together. The first sight of Earth from space, watching Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto go by. The first sight of The Milky Way Galaxy behind us. Then seeing it as a dot of bright light in the distance. The excitement of reaching and naming The Snow Fall Galaxy, staring at planets that no human has ever seen before. The disappointment of not finding a planet like Earth, but having the resolve to go on. Then again I saw the terror stricken movements of the crew following Nick to the pods. His expression as I grabbed his hand. His smile just before his death. A few crew members took Ray off me and started to fix her leg up. A few others got to work trying to contract the other pod. Others, like me, stood or sat in shock. Taking off my helmet I stood up shakily. Percy Kingston, head communication director, came over to me and put a hand on my shoulder. He told me they had gotten through to the other pod, that everyone over there was safe. I didn’t care. I’m ashamed to say now that I wished them all dead for launching their pod and setting off the tremor that killed Nick. “It should have been them. It should have been them. It should have been them." That thought filled my mind. I yelled at Percy, I told him it was their fault Nick was dead. That they should have waited, that if anyone should have died it should have been one of them. The other crew members murmured and looked angry. Percy had tears in his eyes as he told me, “Aurora, every person’s life is precious and Nickolas would have gladly died, and did, to save even one person. He went out knowing that he might not come back and you know that. The other people were scared, they panicked. They couldn’t see what was going on, they didn’t know Nick wasn’t safe yet.” I knew that. I hugged Percy and sobbed. We all took that moment to cry for those who had lost their lives. Took a quiet moment to grieve. In the years that followed we kept a steady course. In those years I had time to really think. Time to realize what I’d been wrong about, to realize how much I really had. I forgave the other crew members for doing what any other scared human would have. I forgave myself for letting Nick go alone. I forgave the man who had caused the crash which had killed my family. I realized that what I had had on Earth wasn’t as bad as I had let myself believe. I realized that I had had things on Earth to live for, things to love, things to look forward to. Earth is a wonderful place, it is a beautiful and glorious place. Why do we always want more? Why do we insist on finding ‘better’ things when what we have is already good enough? This is the truth; there is no planet out there that can replace Earth. We already have our world, even if it isn’t always green and sunshine, even if things happen and we get hurt. Home is home, and Earth is home. I hope my story has convinced you, because I will never be able too. We’ve figured out now that with the engines on the pods it will take us another thirty years to reach Earth. By then most of us will be over one hundred years old. I’m already seventy-three, I was twenty-three when we first launched. I can barely walk around the pod without resting. Not that there is much need for exercise in such a small place and nowhere to go. We are only allowed one letter back to Earth so there’s room for everyone to write one in the small emergency transmission pod. I don’t really have any friends to write too, and I don’t have anything to tell them. But I didn’t want to waste this opportunity of leaving something of myself in this world. Maybe future generations will learn from my, and my fellow adventures, mistakes. The transmission pod is fast and will probably reach Earth, and you, before we die. But I doubt, even if anyone sends help, there is a way for us to get back. The best I can hope for is a glimpse of The Milky Way. To anyone who reads this, or to the black space this paper might float in, don’t think there is nothing left for you. You don’t know what nothing is until you’ve spent fifty years surrounded by blackness in the vacuum of space. There are so many things I want to do again that I will never be able to do. But you’re still on Earth, you’re still alive and laughing. You still have a chance to live life. Live, and live well, live a little life for me, Aurora Grace Williams.
  3. when the game is done when the hammer falls when hope is lost and duty calls lean on Him trust in Him Let Him be your hope and in the darkest nights, He will be the light
  4. This is wonderfully beautiful and so powerful.
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