I miss my friend Jenn. She had the kind of smile that was contagious and her spirit was alive and fresh. She died 5 years ago this month. 5 years. I have never to this day felt that kind of pain...the pain of lose.
When I started high school I transferred to a public school. It was my first year in a public school and my husband can tell you that I led a very sheltered life before that and even in the years to come. He often teases me about the gross jokes that I have never heard or events that are common in all other normal childhood that I did not experience, thankfully. Public school was a definite eye-opener for me. All of a sudden it seemed that nobody cared about you and the teachers didn't even know your name. There were definite "groups" that you either wouldn't be caught dead with or would sell your soul to be a part of.
I was a "good girl." My group of friends all went to church together and didn't do the "party" thing but we were still somewhat popular and we had fun. We were all very academic and had high expectations for our lives and many responsibilities. I loved high school after I made these friends. There was a core group of 5 of us that were pretty much glued together and Jenn was the center. She kept us together even after we all split and went away for college. She made the phone calls and wrote the emails and arranged for us to spend time together when we were home on break.
One of those times was Spring Break in 2000. I was packing up and getting ready to go home when I got a phone call from my mom.
"Shannon, there has been an accident and Jenn was involved but I don't have a lot of details...I was just watching the news and there was a breaking story...I don't know how bad it is."
My heart fell onto the floor. I couldn't think because my heart was pounding so hard in my head. I was going to throw up.
"I am leaving now," I said.
I think I made it home in about 4 hours whereas the trip usually took me about 5 hours. Thoughts were just swimming around in my head. I kept telling myself that she was fine, or she would be fine. Or this isn't happening.
During the drive home I received updates from my parents. I know that they weren't telling me everything because I was driving and they didn't want to upset me during the drive. They knew which hospital she had been taken to...by helicopter. When I heard that I knew it was not good, but still they wouldn't give me any more information.
When I got home, I immediately got in the car with my parents and Jason and we drove to Orlando to the hospital. I ran to the waiting room of the ICU.
Jenn had been jogging and wearing her headphones. She was hit from behind by a dumptruck overloaded with dirt. She never knew it was coming and she was gone instantly. The only thing keeping her alive were machines. She died in the early morning of March 5. I did get to see her before she died, but it wasn't her. To this day I can still she that scene in my mind and I regret that that is the last way that I saw her. It was a lot to take in for an almost 20 year old. My birthday was 3 days later.
I remember going home that morning and feeling numb. I took some sleeping pills and slept and cried and slept and cried. There are events in my life that I cannot put into words and the death of my dear friend is one of those times along with the birth of my two girls.
There was a funeral and I spoke of her along with others. It is not something that I ever want to do again. I was angry. Everyone around me is saying how Jenn's life and ultimate death would be a testimony to others and all I could think was that God took away my friend. Where is the love in that? She didn't do anything wrong. She was one of the good ones that you want to grow and live and have a productive life that contributes to society. I couldn't understand these people and I didn't want to be around them. It was one of those dark places that are scary and lonely.
Jenn was not in my wedding, she wasn't even alive when I got engaged. She will never know my children...she will never have children. We will not grow old as friends and go on vacations together. We will never sing together like we used to do when we were being goofy. I am a selfish person. I want her back every day. The hurt has not gone away and my heart still feels heavy when I think about her. I do know; however that I will see her again and she will be beautiful. I celebrate her life. I will tell my girls stories about her when they are older. She made me a better person and I strive to be just a little bit like her and make a difference as she did in her short amount of time here on earth. She was a dynamic woman and made great impact on all those who knew her. To know her was to love her.
I miss her so very much.