May 31, 2012

I’ve always, in theory, accepted that no matter how good or happy you are, bad things can happen. That no one escapes the nonsensical way life works.  But in my heart I think that I’m just like everyone else.  I don’t understand why bad things happen to the best of people.  

Early yesterday morning I found out that the bodies of a high school friend, her husband and two year old son were found in a ditch next to their car.

Even though I hadn’t seen her in at least 5 or 6 years, Hayley and I weren’t incredibly close, I shed a few tears reading about this tragedy.

Looking back at high school, I remember her having the brightest smile and the most giving heart.  Everyone agreed she was beautiful, I mean stunning. Hayley always found fun in the monotonous.  Boring cheerleading stretches left us in stitches of laughter when She lead them.  Hayley volunteered in countless clubs and community efforts... And thats just what I remember being more of an acquaintance than a good friend.   

I wasn’t popular at all, but Hayley still invited me to a few things, gave me a ride or two and always had encouraging feedback for me at cheer practice.  At a time when I didn’t think I could ever belong, she was that person who reminded me to keep my chin up. That she cared.

The memories I have of my conversations with Hayley aren’t numerous, but I do remember one time she rattled off her very well thought out five and ten year plans.  Over these last few years, through little posts here and there in my Facebook news feed, I saw her achieving those goals one by one.  Her dreams were inspirational and I’m sure a small part of that fire rubbed off on me when I was just 14.  I really think she inspired so many people to work hard, dream big and give generously.  I'm profoundly mystified that she’s gone.  It isn’t fair.  I hate what happened. But amidst all the confusion and sadness, I remember how rad she was.

For Hayley, I remember the great things.  So many people say she would have changed the world.  I think she did.  Hayley made the small things matter with the few years she had.  Maybe if she wouldn't have shared her dreams with me that one time, I wouldn't have been brave enough to pursue my own across the world.  

For all the people who knew her far better than I did, her best friends, and for her family, I’m so sorry for your loss.  To have had such an impact on me, someone she knew so briefly, you must know Hayley was truly magnificent.

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