Sunday, June 13, 2010

Some days you always remember....

I'm a little late on posting this but this week has been so crazy busy I am just now catching my breath, so help a girl out and pretend like you read this yesterday.

Good or bad there are days in your past that are forever burned in your memory. You can remember every detail of the day, even the mundane tasks that took place over it's course.
June 12th is one of those days.
It started out like any other. I had mono and was home laying on the couch watching TV. I was sick, but I was also bored, so a friend dropped by for a chat before she headed to work. After she left I picked up the remote and began channel surfing again. 10 minutes later, the phone rang. She asked me if I had seen anything on the news about a girl getting attacked on our college campus. I told her I hadn't but I'd keep an eye out and that was that. In all honesty I wasn't very concerned. Only a few of my friends were still down at school and I was still living in that "we are invincible" bubble most college kids lived in.
A bubble that was just about to burst.
Not more than 5 minutes later the phone rang again and try as I might I couldn't tell you the exact words that were said, but I heard them nonetheless.

There was someone raped at our school.
It was our friend Shannon.

And she was dead.

I felt like I'd been smacked in the face. I was numb, sad, and worried all at once. My mind was in a million different places. What happened? Where did it happen? We're my other friends ok? Do they know who did it? How am I going to tell my other friends? Somehow at this point I was sitting on the floor, though I am not quite sure how I got there.

The hours and days that followed were a blur of tears and confusion. Truth is I thought I'd be able to write about that time here, but I think that is a page of my life I'd really care not to re-hash. Shannon was a fairly new friend of mine, but her death hit me hard. It shook me to my very core. I suddenly felt so vulnerable. Rocked out of the comfortable little life I had known. I was angry that my "bubble" had been shattered. I was sad that my friendship with such a beautiful girl had been cut so short. And I was scared because I had never felt so close to the evils in this world.

I will always cherish my friendship with Shannon, no matter it's length. Some people are only meant to stay in your life for a short while. Their impact on you is nonetheless great. I've realized however that I learned more from Shannon's death than her life. It sounds weird saying that, but death can be a life lesson too. I was less innocent- but in a good way. I was more aware of what was going on around me.On how to be safer. And I appreciate my friends and family more because if death teaches you anything, it's that life is short. And that bad things do happen sometimes. I learned it was important is to not dwell on the bad, but focus on the good.
Good things like a woman named Erin Weed, who started a fabulous foundation called Girls Fight Back. Erin tours the country and writes books teaching women everywhere self-defense. I am truly in awe of this amazing lady because she managed to take the tragedy that was Shannon's death and turned it in to this powerful legacy that will forever live on in Shannon's name.

It helps take a little of the sting out June 12th...

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