All it takes is one moment. One moment to change your entire life. One moment you’re doing just fine, then within seconds your whole world shakes. That moment could be good, bad, confusing, exciting, just anything to change you. The worst change, in my opinion, is death. No one likes death. Death just sucks. It is hard to understand. Hard to accept. Hard to fathom. That person is gone from earth forever. Death of an elderly, although still very hard, is a bit easier to grasp because it was either typically expected or that person was in poor health and it was better for them to be called home and not suffer anymore. Children on the other hand…that is a tough one. Now yes, some children do suffer from poor health as well and when they die it is for the better, but most that die are perfectly fine. Most die unexpectedly. They have the rest of their life in front of them ready to be lived.
Okay, imagine this for a second. Imagine having the best senior year of high school. Making new best friends, setting school records, coming together as a community. Imagine walking the stage at graduation staring at your future that lies ahead. Tossing your caps up, overjoyed. Imagine looking around and seeing people you have known since kindergarten. Everyone has finally made it. Everyone is now getting ready for college. Two weeks after graduation, the hype begins to die down. The heat of summer is starting to set in and everyone is out making memories before their time to go to college sneaks up on them. Everything seems to be going perfect, when one moment changes your life forever. One moment. That moment…your best friend dying. Unfortunately, this moment happened to me. That life described, I lived, but now it was all just a memory. Now, my life was changed.
Nicole Marie Quincy died June 28, 2013. She was driving back from her senior trip in San Antonio with two of her other friends. Nicole was in the passenger seat. Everything seemed to be going fine, when things turned for the worst, the car veered off the road and struck a tree, killing Nicole instantly. It took a few hours for the news to reach to McKinney (our hometown), but when it did, the whole town was devastated. Time seemed to stop. One of my friends called me to tell me the news and at first, I didn’t believe it. How could that have happened to Nicole? Is this really real? I was at the movies with my sister, but I sat outside the theater because my phone was ringing off the hook. So many people were calling and texting me saying they were sorry. Saying they were praying for me. As nice as it was to hear these things, my whole world had just turned upside down that I was just in such a daze and angry with everyone. That night at my sister’s house, I couldn’t sleep. For the first time in my life I felt completely helpless. I really needed God.
Okay, back up a little. My family raised me Christian, but never enforced going to church. We all believed in God and knew that He was our savior, but we just never dug deep into anything more. I had never been in a situation where I really needed God. I never felt like He was all I had…until now. At 3:30 a.m., I found myself on the bathroom floor on my knees, yelling at God. Arguing with Him. Bargaining with Him. I had hit my wall. My best friend was gone and I just couldn’t understand why God did that. After a while though something hit me. I found myself up off my knees now sitting, eyes closed, praying. I realized God wasn’t going to bring her back. Nothing I could do would bring her back. No matter how many tears I cried, bargains I made, nothing was going to bring her back. For the strength of my friends and family, I had to put my head on my shoulders and try to accept the new change in my life. Nicole was now in Heaven and as much as I wanted her back on earth, she didn’t want to come back. She is happier now in Heaven. Pain free. Worry free. As hard as it was to think about these things, I knew it was reality and I was going to have to face it sometime.
In the passing weeks, nothing got easier. After the vigil, visitation, funeral, and burial, I was mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. One of the last events to honor Nicole was a reception held at our old middle school. Everyone met to rejoice in celebration of her life and share all our old memories. I had known Nicole since I was four, so I had many stories to go around. At the end, we did a balloon release. Everyone tied a note to a balloon and at the same time, we all released them up to Nicole and our Heavenly Father. What seemed like a petty action actually helped me the most. I stood in a field surrounded by hundreds of people who knew Nicole. I looked up and closed my eyes and a person counted down. When they said one, I released my balloon into the sky, but my note wasn’t the only thing being released. That balloon carried all my anger, confusion, sadness, doubt, disbelief, and grief, everything that was burdening me.
From that moment on, my life changed for better and worse. Worse because my best friend was dead. She had her whole life ahead of her and it was taken from her. As horrible as it still is to think about and understand, the biggest blessing has come from it. My relationship with God has grown tremendously. I now know how much God loves me. I now know that everything happens for a reason, for it is part of God’s plan. I now know God takes things and people away from us, only to give us a bigger prize. The road I was traveling down had taken a turn for the worst and it was getting pretty rough, but I had to start to believe that God was going to pull me through it and be by my side the entire time. Endurance. Endurance is a thing I focus on now. I have to have endurance to get through the trials God places in my life. I am committed to God. My life is now devoted to God and I couldn’t be happier with the life I am living through God and for God.
Today Nicole would be 19 years old and I hope Heaven is throwing her the best party ever. Tomorrow will be 7 months since she passed away. Love and miss you sweet angel. #33