When I think of her I remember her smile. I remember beautiful curly red hair, a freckled complexion and her bubbly personality. To you that may sound so cliche to say about someone who has passed away but that is honestly the person she was. Vibrant and loving, she adored animals of all kinds and got along with people of all types. She loved to get lost in a novel and wrote heartbreaking poetry. Her parents loved her more than anything and she had them wrapped around her finger. Her life had tough stuff in it but you wouldn’t know it if you didn’t ask her. She was goofy and curious about everything! She loved to explore, was lucky enough to have traveled out of the country a couple of times in her short life. She loved to drive too, her purple jeep was decked out in feather boas pinned to the ceiling and all kinds of pretty things hanging from the rear view mirror. It makes no difference now that she was reckless and had no fear of speed. She was fun to be with and always on an adventure!
I don’t remember how it happened, but she was my best friend through all of middle school and high school. We bonded over so many things.. animals, books and boys. We spent a lot of time in my home, she loved my parents and our pets as if they were her own. She was a hard worker and put in a lot of hours at Taco Johns. She was so proud of that job and of the friends she had made there.
Things weren’t always great between us, we fought every so often. I was a brat in high school and I let a boy come between us. She was selfless and always put me first but I let her down too many times. I remember how she whispered to me during a senior photo opportunity “lets just pretend we are still friends”. I Can still feel the awkwardness in that photo.
I remember the summer before she died that we had started texting each other. I had worked with a mutual friend and he prompted us to reconnect. She was about to turn 21 and she was so excited! We never got together or really even crossed paths much after high school. She went to college and had all new friends, Facebook had a way of making her appear very happy.
She is always in my heart and on my mind. Life is not fair, she did not deserve to die so young, freshly 21. I always get a hurricane of emotions when her birthday comes around. After she passed away I was reunited with my old group of friends from high school. We piled into my tiny apartment and reminisced, cried and comforted each other. As a group of people we have been inseparable ever since, losing her connected us in a way that I cannot explain. I cannot imagine life without those people who came forward at the darkest hour. For that, I am thankful for having her in my life. She connects us forever no matter where life takes us. She lives on in my memory and will never ever be forgotten.
Forever & Always.