Morris said that through good times and bad, she and Rivera "created the most beautiful friendship built out of love and understanding."
It was a bond that would carry them to Rivera's last days, evidenced by Morris' heartfelt plea to authorities to aid in their search of Lake Piru for her friend in the days before Rivera's body was recovered.
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Morris even shared their last exchange, tragically disconnected in its way due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. "I had left oranges outside our home for you to take," she wrote.
"I wanted to say hi through the window but my phone didn't ring when you called (which it never does, f*cking T-Mobile), so instead you and Josey left two succulents on our doorstep as a thank you."
Morris said she planted the succulents left by Rivera and her son, who was found alone on the pontoon boat the two had rented on the day Rivera went missing.
"I look at them everyday and think of you. I still listen to your EP on repeat because from the moment I heard it, it struck me and I always wished the world knew more of your voice."
"You are and always will be the strongest and most resilient human being I know, and I vowed to carry that with me as I continue to live my life," Morris wrote. She spoke of what she learned through their friendship, the most important "being a consistent and loving friend."
"You were the first to check in, the first to ask questions, the first to listen," she wrote. "You cherished our friendship and I never took that for granted."
She proved that with fellow cast-member Dot-Marie Jones, who spoke with "The Talk" In a segment airing Friday about Rivera being the first member of the "Glee" family to reach out after her wife Bridgett Casteen suffered a stroke three years ago.
She and Morris joined other cast-members at Lake Piru on Monday, where they were captured holding hands on the shore and looking out at the still waters. At that time, a body had been recovered but had yet to be positively identified as Rivera's.
Jones, who played Coach Bieste on the show, opened up a little about that powerful experience, saying that the idea came together during a cast group text the night before. They'd originally intended to go that night, but as the hour grew late, they opted to push it to Monday, which would turn out to be the day River was found and declared dead.
"I told Bridgett, my wife, I just said, ‘I gotta go.’ And she said, ‘I know you do,'" Jones recalled. "And so, I went out by myself -- got there probably about six, and cried and prayed and talked, and you know, told her she had to come home, so we could all rest, and especially her mama and her family."
Jones echoed Kevin McHale's sentiment that Cory Monteith played some role in Rivera's body being found that day. "He had to because, God bless, they found her on the seventh anniversary of Cory’s death, which is unfathomable," she said.
She said the plan came together quickly, and was more of an impulsive decision for the cast, "but it’s life, and unfortunately it's affected so many of us. And it just shows how much we all cared and loved that girl. Rivera was a good kid. We loved her."
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