For the past six years I have thought about the exact same thing on July 4th and this one is no different. I wake up every morning and the same thing runs its course through my mind. It's not the usual patriotic things filled with American pride and fireworks (while those do come into play later in my thoughts). Instead the first thought that always passes through my brain is my dear friend- Amy.
As most people know, Amy was taken from her family and friends long before we all had ever imagined she would be. I guess when you're growing up and you're surrounded by your friends, you just assume that everything is going to be fine. You know that some of you are going to grow up and fulfill goals that they have had for years, some will realize what they want most out of life is a family and children, some turn out to be the exact opposite of what anyone expected and others will simply live their lives and not put too much thought or pressure on it.
But I don't think anyone thinks that one of their friends is going to pass away. Especially, at such a young age. And you don't think of multiple friends of yours being gone. You think that they might move away, or that you might not be as close as you once were, but in the back of your head you always have that little thought that you can always stop by or at the very least, call. It's kind of like a safety net. You might not need it, but it's there.
Until it isn't anymore.
July 4, 2009: I had pulled a double the night before, so I had turned my phone on silent and attempted to get some sleep. I had only been in bed a couple of hours when Momma came in my room and woke me up. She set down on my bed and told me- "Sissy, there's something I have to tell you." I immediately set up, because I knew whatever it was she was about to tell me was bad. I don't know exactly how, but there was something about her tone that just told me. And then she said- "Amy was in an accident this morning, she passed away before they could get her to the hospital. I'm so sorry."
You know, when you find something like that out there's a moment. And while the moment doesn't last real long, it's there. And in this moment you start to recap everything throughout your life with this person. And it just runs through your head really quickly, almost like a slideshow, but impossibly fast. You think of moments that were, song lyrics that remind you, the last words that were spoken and everything in between. You remember things that were long forgotten and then it's done. It just stops and you're left sitting there asking- Why?
No one really knows why these things happen and often times they never figure it out. In this case, I know that Amy was killed in a car accident. I know that her boyfriend swerved to miss a deer. I know that they had just dropped their little boy off at his grandmas. I know that it was on an ole country road. And I know that there was nothing the paramedics could do by the time that they arrived on the scene and she was pronounced dead at the hospital. I know that they played Taylor Swift at her funeral while we all cried and couldn't believe that we were saying goodbye to our friend. And the last thing that I know is that we laid her to rest in her pale pink casket with a headstone in the shape of a heart and a picture of her and her baby boy on July 8, 2009. All of these things are facts.
But I don't know the answers. The answers to the questions that we all had. Why didn't she get to see her little boy grow up? She didn't even get to see his first birthday. She was such a good mother and she would have continued to be. Why did she have to pass away so young? She had only been nineteen for a couple months. We had only been out of high school for a year. She had so many things to accomplish.
I'm not saying that Amy was perfect. Lord knows that she had flaws, but we all do. She had done some things that she wasn't proud of, but she was learning to overcome the decisions of her past to better her future. And she loved that little boy more than words could ever say. Man, did she love that kid. There was nothing that she wouldn't do for him and I know that she would be the proudest little cheerleader that anyone has ever seen throughout his life. She was a mom, sister, daughter, girlfriend, cheerleader and one hell of a friend. I miss her. We all do. And we all think of her today, like every other day. She may be gone, but she is definitely not forgotten.