Nikita Hayes


Dear Niki,

I found this photo a little while ago. I was going to frame a copy and give it to you. I love it so much because when I look at it I can still hear our laughter echoing down those small private school halls as we ever so slowly made our way from class to class…even if they were right next door to each other! ha! We had some crazy school years and summers as kids. I’ll never forget first meeting you. You were electric. You lit up every room you entered and people couldn’t help but want to be around you. 

It’s true, separate public schools drifted us apart a little bit, then with your move to Texas we lost touch for a time. I think it was facebook that connected us again while you were living in Hawaii but even after I gave facebook the boot, we continued on as good friends and I am so thankful for that. We never made it out there but you always kept your door open with invitation. Your home and heart were always open to everyone. Also- I want to tell you, you had the best Christmas cards ever. I know I’ve said that to you before but I think your awesome homemaking skills deserve all the shout-outs in the world. It made my heart so sad to have to choose between a trip to meet my husband’s family or your Texas wedding but you said “It’s ok girl! You’ll be there in spirit!” You always remained positive and had a smile on your face.

Being able to see you more once you were back in the Carolinas enriched my life more than you can know. Even though we were still over an hour apart and on totally different schedules, we managed to get time in together and that means something to me. As we get older I think it becomes harder and harder to have genuine time together in your friendships, especially when you don’t live too close so thank you for taking time to spend with me. I feel so blessed to have had a friendship with you in adulthood. I am grateful for all the times you allowed me and my husband into your always beautiful home and the opportunity to get to know your wonderful little family. Thank you for giving me the honor of being your friend.

Your legacy is one of love, joy, peace, patience and kindness. One of positivity, strength and good energy. You inspire me to live a life of positivity, to love EVERYONE and to take more pictures ;) Your legacy is one I, my husband, and countless, countless others will never forget. It’s one that Keana will know through us. We’ll keep your family wrapped up in love with our physical presence while you sing and dance sweetly over us. I love you girl.

With a heart full of hope but broken,




I can’t believe I’m writing this. Yesterday, one of my dear friends passed away. My heart is broken. Hug the ones you love and never pass up an opportunity for simply thinking “I’ll have more time”. My heart and prayers are with Nikita’s family and loved ones. She was a beautiful woman inside and out.