June 3, 2011. I though it would be easier than the year before. I’m emotionally the strongest I’ve been in two years. I knew it was still going to be hard but boy did I not see what was coming.
In a weird way, I was actually looking forward to the two year anniversary. If I was to feel any emotion that day it would be nothing but gratitude. Two years ago my life could have been taken away from me. I think that is one heck of a cause to be grateful. I was also grateful to have been very close friends to Makenzie Stocker, one of the most wonderful girls I’ve ever met. I was grateful for her friendship and impact on my life, both before and after the accident. I was grateful for Aaron; for the amazing young man he’s become and the bond we share in every moment of every day. The list is endless… the ability to continue to perform and to touch lives through it, live my dream of being a professional dancer, strengthen my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s amazing how positive of a person I’d become. Not even June 3rd could get my spirits low. I of course would mourn, but I wasn’t about ready to go back into mean reds.
I’d made a lovely slideshow with the help of many friends. Planned a photoshoot with more friends. Cara planned a nice improvisational dance time for rehearsal that night. The day was supposed to be a good one. And it was… but unfortunately had a uneasy beginning.
Dear Madeline and I wanted to go to the intersection to lay some flowers on Makenzie’s cross in the morning, so with my mom and her dad, we did. It was lovely, we stood there together holding one another, without speaking a word, and shed some tears. Whenever I go to the intersection I can’t help but think about what had happened there and wish for just a second that I could remember it all.
We stood there for 10-20 minutes, I can’t tell time in moments like that. We walked back to our cars and said our goodbyes till later that night. In the car, I wiped my tear soaked face as my mom started the drive home. Not two minutes into our drive, the two cars right in front of us collided. The cars skidded along the median and then one car drove into ditch. Before I knew it my mom handed me the phone, I called 911, we were pulled over, and my mother was talking to the police. The car in the ditch had children in side. No one was seriously injured. I couldn’t stop crying for hours after. Two years later, when I thought I was this emotionally strong giant, I could handle anything, all of the sudden my greatest nightmare was flashing right in front of my eyes. The irony of it all was crazy… two years since the accident… I had just been to the intersection. The thoughts that filled my head that day were dreadful.
But like all things, it got better with time. It wasn’t until later that day when I was surrounded by my friends taking pictures of them with yellow tulips and white roses till I was finally able to have the June 3rd I had wanted.
The improv dance we did during intermission of RAFA’s Informal dress rehearsal was so touching. To be on stage with everyone and dancing together was such a special thing. It’s amazing to see how in losing one life, so many others were affected. The countless tears that have been shed for Makenzie will never match the steps that have been danced for her. That continue to dance for her…
photo courtesy of vanessa garner.