My best friend since high school was killed on October 3rd by a distracted driver while she and her husband were riding their bicycles. They were just a few blocks from their home and though these pictures represent what happened to her, they are not what I want to remember.
I've had a hard time being able to face it and actually write about her being gone. I couldn't stop the tears at all, my heart was broken and I didn't know what to do about it. Her husband was in critical condition for quite awhile too which was tough for her children and the rest of her family and friends. Gratefully, he is doing better. After more than a week of complete sadness, I woke up Monday morning with Stacey in my head saying, "just be happy." Which is something she has often said to me.
Stacey is just one of those joyful, happy people and she had a knack for sharing that joy and happiness. So, I took her words in my head to heart so now every time I think of her, I am choosing to see her happy face (this picture with her husband that her sister-in-law shared is a perfect example) and hear her say, "Renae, just be happy." I do know with all my heart that she IS happy where she is, I don't doubt that one bit. I was just sad for those of us left behind, not to mention the shock of her leaving us at such a young age.
There have been some beautiful things shared and done on Stacey's behalf that I wanted to share too. The local bike store created this beautiful "ghost bike" and left it where she was hit. They also put a sign out at their store and organized a memorial bike ride. Then the hospital where she worked for many, many years left beautiful ribbons on the trees on their grounds in remembrance of her. There has been a Go Fund created to help pay for the costs and so much more.
One of my friends expressed concerns of not being deserving to feel this devastated over Stacey's death as she wasn't as close to her as she used to be. I told her that anyone who was touched by Stacey's life deserves to feel devastated. If she shared her beautiful smile with you, you should feel the loss of not being able to see it again. But, also feel blessed to have been on the receiving end of that smile, I know that I am. Until I see you again Stacey, I will do my very best to just be happy, I love you!