Where Has The Time Gone?

“Although it’s difficult to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.”

Well…here we are again. January 27, 2014. Another birthday passes of my sweet friend Nicole Quincy that instead of being able to text or call her and get a reply, I sit in my dorm room and receive a text message of a picture from my mom of Nicole’s grave with flowers surrounding it. I think her birthday always hits me the hardest because it is like the ONE day that I just really wish I was able to talk to her. Don’t get me wrong…I wish she was here every day, but her birthday is just that one day that I want to be happy and be able to celebrate with her. 

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While I was just at home for Christmas break, me and my parents had the news on one night and a news anchor from our preferred news channel, Dale Hanson, played his special that he plays every year called Thank God For Kids. He plays a video from the first year that he aired this special and then has a few words to say about the past year, specifically about children. This was really one of the first years I remember seeing this special and sure enough it was going to be one I would never forget. He stated that this was the 33rd year that this special ran {really….why did it have to be 33} and then showed the video. After the video he started the following piece by saying how old his grandkids were now from when that first aired and then specifically talked about his granddaughter Makenzie who is now 21. He then went into the following story that I will never forget:

“That granddaughter of mine is growing up in a hurry, and she had to grow up faster this summer. Her friend Aubree Butts was killed in a traffic accident back in June. She had just finished her sophomore year at Texas A&M in Commerce. She played on the basketball team there.

Aubree was in the back seat of a car on her way back from Paris. It was early in the evening, only about six o’clock. Paris police say they were on the wrong road, a mile from the road they should have been on… a road that led to the end of Aubree’s short, sweet life.

She would have turned 21 next week, but now Aubree Butts will be 20 years old forever.

It was an accident. No one was really at fault. The semi that hit their car had the right of way; the young girl driving made a mistake… a mistake she’ll carry with her the rest of her life.”

((Make a note that I this point all I could think about was Nicole {and tears were pouring off my face}. Aubree was a basketball player. She died in a car accident in June….all just like Nicole. And just when I thought Dale Hanson couldn’t hit any closer to home, he continued with this.))

“I’ve tried to tell Makenzie why things like this happen in life, but I can’t find a good reason why.

I want to tell her the pain will go away, but I know that it won’t.

I want to tell her the tears will eventually stop, but I know they don’t.

I lost one of my best friends when I was younger than Makenzie is now. He was killed in Vietnam. I’ve lived 47 years longer than he did, and hardly a week goes by I don’t think about him.

And the tears still come, sometimes almost embarrassingly so.

But I have told Makenzie this: I really wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t want to forget; I always want to remember how special he was, just like she will always remember how special Aubree was.

My daughter says Aubree was the sweetest girl ever, and if she wasn’t , it was a very short list to get to her. She was smart, she was pretty, she was tall and athletic. And she made every room she was in just a little bit brighter.

Aubree doesn’t cry anymore. She doesn’t hurt anymore. And she has no pain. She doesn’t worry about where her life is headed, or the choices she has to make.

The rest of us do. Makenzie does. And she will always do that with a broken heart now, thinking about her friend Aubree, crying many times when she does.

Until someday she, too, will wonder, and she will say: “I really don’t know where all the years have gone, but I still remember Aubree.”

“Thank God for Kids.”

……. I was {and still am} speechless. Nothing has seemed so relevant to my life than this. So many feelings I have been unable to express, Dale explained effortlessly. I would say lately I have been less open about this topic and more closed off to other people about it and I have kept all my feelings to myself, and if you asked why, I don’t think I would really be able to tell you why. I would say that last year I was more willing to talk about it and say how I felt because it was all SO new. I was quickly thrown into a new setting {one month after it happened} with new people that had NO idea what had happened or who Nicole was, so I had to explain it more and talk about it more so people knew what I was crying about. I felt that I was in denial a lot because Nicole was going off to college in Kansas. I was never going to see her, but at home on breaks so for a while it just felt as if we were both at college and that when I went home, she would be driving back as well. After a year passed and now that her birthday is passing again, I feel like it is all beginning to set in. I like actually am finally realizing she’s gone. She isn’t coming back. She won’t be at her house on breaks. She’s actually farther away than a phone call. I can talk to her, but there will be no response. I hate to show my weak side, so I feel like this year I have {tried to} put my tough face and not show people that this is still affecting me. I struggle with this daily whether people know it or not. I still have days where I am just worn down from having to deal with the pain and grief. My roommate, however, that I had last year {who I am still living with}, can usually read right through me and she knows when something is bothering me. She is willing to listen to all the stories I like to share about Nicole and most importantly will sit there with me while I cry. She said at one point she never knows what to say when people are really upset in front of her, but I feel that she always has the right thing to say {even if sometimes it is nothing} and she usually ends our talks with a prayer of hope and encouragement. I don’t want to burden people with my struggles, however this is a big part of my life and I love {and need} to have support. I never want people to hesitate to ask about Nicole or what happened because I am willing to share her story. People often say they are nervous to ask me about it, but I don’t want people to be. It actually helps me more to talk about it. People probably question why I write about her a lot or write about this happening and to be honest it’s just because it is what comes natural to me. So many times I have sat down and tried to write a blog and I fail, but every time I go to write a story about Nicole, it usually is finished in a matter of minutes. Nicole means a lot to me and her story means a lot to me. Her story has become apart of my story. I am passionate about sharing her story because to me she is {not was} just a flat out AMAZING person. She still means the world to me and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. She is always on my mind. I will never forget her because she left such a mark on my life and a great legacy behind for everyone. I mean I might be a little biased…BUT truly I believe that she was one of a kind. So many people have stated that they didn’t even know Nicole, but that she has impacted their lives which I just think is amazing. If Nicole could only see how much recognition she is getting even today and the number of places her picture/her name are, I ONLY KNOW she would be ecstatic. If Nicole could have had it her way, she would have had her picture on every corner of every street. During high school our basketball teams had a banner for each individual player with their name, number, and picture on it. I don’t know how many times Nicole would say to me, “HEY! Did you see my banner in the main gym?!” At the end of our senior year, she told me countless stories of how she asked her parents to hang it up on the living room and then when they said no, she asked her basketball coach to hang it up in her office or leave it hanging in the gym {she even asked me once if I would take it and hang it up in my room since no one else wanted it}. That was just Nicole. And now she does have her own banner in the gym forever.


And her name on countless shirts and wristbands.

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I recently read an article that talked about how you explain Heaven to a little child. The article had many great scriptures in it that talk about Heaven and what we should expect and I thought I would share the scriptures this person shared:

“Our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
~ Phil. 3:20

“We want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope…Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.” ~ 1 Thess. 4:13, 16-18

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may also be.” ~ 1 John 14:3

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more…” ~Rev. 21:4

Pink has a song titled “Beam Me Up” that is an awesome song {that should you go listen to if you haven’t heard it before}. I heard it the summer when Nicole died and it was almost as if the world knew something happened because it was played over and over and over again. There is a verse {the chorus actually} that says:

“Could you beam me up,
Give me a minute, I don’t know what I’d say in it
I’d probably just stare, happy just to be there, holding your face
Beam me up,
Let me be lighter, I’m tired of being a fighter,
I think a minute’s enough,
Just beam me up”

I would like to think I would know what I would want to say to Nicole, however just like this song states, I think I would be in so much awe that I would become speechless. Just beam me up. Just beam me up. All I need is one more moment. I wish NO ONE EVER had to go through this. Death is inevitable but, I just wish it wasn’t so hard. There was an article that I remember reading literally like 2 days after Nicole died that spoke so much truth to the situation.

[Joe Biden spoke these words to the families of the 19 fallen firefighters in the Arizona tragedy in 2013]

“As unbelievable as it is to even fathom…the day will come when the memory of your husband, your son, or your dad or your brother will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. My prayer for all of you is that that day will come sooner than later, but I promise you as unbelievable as it is, it will come.”

 I would say that I have not hit that mindset yet, however I am getting there. Everyone grieves in their own way and everyone needs a different amount of time for them to be okay, however just like that states, one day the tears will be no more. One day the sweet memory of Nicole will bring joy to our lives and we will FIRST be able to remember the good times we shared and not the tragedy of how her life ended. I can’t wait until I get to see Nicole again {and when I do, it will be for eternity…HOW AWESOME IS THAT!!}. Love and miss you Q.

||It’s safe to say I have the best guardian angel up in Heaven||


*Here are some links for videos made about Nicole in the past year and a half that you can look at if anyone is interested. They really capture her life and give you an idea of what a great person she truly is:

http://manestreamnews.com/6751/mhs1/mhs1-5-30-14/ (5:30-7:35)








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