Monday, July 9, 2012

Hot Pink

She had a love all things equestrian. Her horse was her life. Any spare time she had, you could find her out in the barn or riding the trails and fields. 4H fairs were a way of life for her.

After an afternoon of horseback riding, the young, twenty year old girl and her boyfriend engaged in a little horse play of their own. Wrestling around like young folks do. It was a perfect day. Everyone was happy.

Without any warning or much of a reaction either, the girl and boy bumped their heads together. It was a pretty good bump, but no one thought much of it. An hour or so had passed and things had calmed down some when the young lady mentioned that she had a headache. A Tylenol didn't seem to help the situation and it only seemed to be getting worse. After a while, her vision was gone and she was starting to panic. Her body seemed to be shutting down. An ambulance was called. But by the time it arrived, it was too late. The young girl was gone.

In such a small town, the news traveled fast. The tiny church was packed to standing room only. Video monitors were set up so people that could not get into the chapel could see and hear the touching tributes to their friend. Her casket was adorn with ribbons that she and her horse had won at various competitions. Everyone in attendance was wearing her favorite color, hot pink. Some wore ties, scarves or headbands. Others T-shirts, skirts or shoes. Even hot pink shoe laces on one friend. The storms that ripped through our little town that morning of July 2, tearing up trees by their roots, did nothing to keep the grievers  away. 

Everyone was given the opportunity to say their goodbyes. As each one passed by her casket, you could witness the look of surprise, grief and disbelief. The process took over an hour for everyone to pass by. Then they all waited patiently outside by the hearse for the pall bearers to carry her out. They each wore a hot pink tie. On top of the casket was a beautiful display of pink flowers, with long pink ribbons streaming from them. One that read "Daughter". Another that read "Sister". And yet another that read "Friend" in golden script.

It was a slow procession. Her best friend followed directly behind the hearse, walking with the young ladies horse, adorned with hot pink chaps. Behind that was her boyfriend riding his horse and then her parents, each riding their own horses. Each horse with hot pink ribbons streaming from their manes. It was supposed to be a private burial for just the family, but our slow speed enabled everyone to get in their cars and follow behind. The police stopped traffic for us the whole way and the little cemetery was packed to capacity by the time everyone got there. 

In such a case, it is so hard for anyone to say goodbye. Someone chimed in with a fond memory and that started a long line of people wanting to say their favorite memory. If only this young girl could hear everything that her friends and family were saying", I thought to myself."If only we could all hear the good things that people remember about us, there would never be any sorrow. This girl's life was cut way too short. But she touched so many people during her time here on earth. We all do. You just never know what tomorrow will bring. So be sure to tell your friends and family what they mean to you. Enjoy each day that you are given.


That corgi :) said...

I think it is always hard when one so young is gone; she seemed like a very nice young woman who will be so much missed by family and friend.

wise words Stew to enjoy each day we are given


Stew said...

When I nearly lost my sister a few months, I learned that lesson quick. It really makes you stop and think.

Mitchell is Moving said...

So sad that it takes such terrible tragedies to remind us. Thanks for the reminder!

Ms Sparrow said...

How heartbreaking that such a minor incident had such a terrible outcome! It sounds like the family and community were able to really make the funeral a celebration of her life.

Stew said...

People often ask, "How can you do that job?"
The answer is easy. We are here to celebrate the lives that have been lived.

Stew said...

I know you've surrounded yourself with many wonderful friends, Mitch. That in itself is worth a celebration.

MorningAJ said...

You really never know what's around the corner. I hope she knew how much people cared.

Mark said...

I'll give my kids extra kisses tonight.
Your Friend, m.