To put it simply: life's too short to be anything but happy.

January 5, 2009
My eyes slowly parted and white light gushed from every surface surrounding me, my head throbbed and I cringed in agony; this wasn’t how heaven was supposed to be, not how I imagined it at least. Ever sense I was a little girl I had this silly depiction of what after-life would involve: angels, elevator music, and fluffy clouds. Disappointment hit me abruptly as my spinning dome came to a screeching halt, and I found myself wallowing back into reality. I shut my eyes as hastily as possible in attempt to shut out the tyrannical memories that now conquered my every thought. The realization hit me hard, almost as the candy-red Chevy had: approaching us at unbearable speeds. Finally I worked up the nerve, and glanced around the boxed-in hospital space. Machines surrounded me, making all sorts of zealous noises, and it didn’t take me long to realize the bed next to me was empty. I sprang up with instinct, but a sharp pain struck me throughout my entire torso, instantaneously returning me to my original position. A nurse casually walked into the room, peeking around the corner of the flowery wallpapered walls. Ironically, the same wallpaper my alcoholic mother pasted up in her room when I was a child, I decided not to dwell on the derision in that. The nurse’s nametag stated that she was “Patty” and the expression on her face told me that she was rather pleased to see that I was awake, and over-eager to tell my loved ones. As soon as she darted out of the room, my family darted in. “Are you okay? I was so worried, how do you feel? Can you breathe? How’s your head?” Several questions were hurled at me and my head screamed for it to stop, in response my eyes shut tightly. They seemed to pick up on my pained gesture, and questions turned to silence. I took a quick glance at all their worried faces, the crowd was small, and missing a face. “Where is Chase? Is he alright?!” This is the point in my life where I learned a very important lesson, if you don’t want to know the answer- don’t ask the question. I locked in on my mothers aged face, her wrinkles looked deeper from this angle, and the bags under her eyes sagged with stress. It only took one look at her to know the answer, no one had to say a word. “No, no, no, no. He’s at home, right? Resting? Where is he? No, no.” I didn’t notice how my voice shifted to a scream in a matter of seconds, my raspy utters cracked and the lamentation, and sobbing came next. My breath had been stolen from me, and I wheezed for air. This was a bad nightmare, I begged for my family to wake me up.

Weeks went by before I was finally well enough to leave the hospital, and return to my loving home, which I’ve never been so appreciative of. My mother was doing everything she could to shelter me from the outside world at this point, including hiding all the newspapers with bold headlines stating “TEEN DRUNK DRIVER KILLS BOYFRIEND.” I didn’t find out until Chase’s parents sent me it, along with a short letter.

Dear Amy,

You will never truly know how much Chase’s death has effected us as a family, you will never know how heartbroken we all are, never. But we are not a hateful family, we believe in forgiveness. You will have to live with what you did everyday of you’re life, wherever you may be spending it, I believe that’s punishment enough. You remember what Chase always said? Life’s too short to be anything but happy, and you know that’s how he would want it now. So do us a favor, and in his memory put on a brave face, and never give up on you’re dreams.

Sincerely- the loving family.

At that moment, I realized the world wasn’t coming to an end. I could still have hopes, goals, and aspirations, and I would accomplish every single one; for Chase. Because life’s too short to be anything but happy.

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melinda13 said...
Jan. 10, 2009 at 3:32 pm
great job, heather!
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