I know that, over the years, one common thread among my articles in this column has been that life passes so quickly, to try to live every moment and always tell those around you that you love them, and to enjoy your kids when they’re young because they grow quickly. Today’s article follows the same line.
Last Monday, April 10, was a normal day. I went to work. I came home and made dinner. I showered and got cozy on the couch for an evening of Dancing With The Stars. But that’s where the day took a turn. Shortly before the first dance, a text told me a dear friend from work had been in a wreck. Her family was heading to the hospital. It was clear that the wreck was very, very bad. I stopped and said a prayer for my friend’s safety and well-being. I sent a text to her phone letting her know that I was praying for her and her sweet five year old daughter in the backseat. I wasn’t sure there was much else I could do but wait for more news. A short time later, a friend from work texted me. Our precious girlfriend had not survived the car accident and her little girl was in critical condition. A handful of our co-workers flooded the hospital waiting room. We sat and talked, cried, hugged and just waited for news about the little girl. While we waited, we learned that she was stable and they were moving her to a Dallas hospital. Family left to follow the ambulance or go home. We all stayed a while, just holding each other up, trying to absorb the news, talking through how we would handle the following day at work,.
In those hours at the hospital and the days that followed, I think we all cried off layers of make-up. We have hugged and prayed together. We have watched as students were shaken and then began to bounce back and move forward. But the truth is we will be forever changed. Our sweet Marion Collins was one of those rays of sunshine that make every day brighter and happier. You never saw her without a smile. And when she had a bad day, it took a two minute conversation with her before she was cracking jokes or hugging you. She had an infectious laugh and a sparkling personality that none of us will ever forget. While she might be gone, her life and her heart will be forever engraved in the walls of Arp Junior High.
This week, her sweet baby girl, Sophie, has undergone surgery and has begun the road to recovery. While her life has been changed forever as well, in time she will find happiness and joy again. Her mom’s love of life will forever shine through this little one.
In a very clear, distinct reminder of truth, God nudged me again this week to hold my kids a little tighter, to kiss my husband a little more often, to live my life as if every day was the last. You never know. It just might be. While I won’t ever get to see my sweet friend again, I will see her again one day on the other side of the pearly gates. Until then, I hope she’s saving me a chair next to her in the heavenly choir. I can’t sing worth a darn, but if I’m seated by her, I am sure I will have fun. Until we meet again, Marion, your memory will live on.
(Contact Liz by email at Lizreeves2@aol.com)