Life is. That’s all there is to it. Life is crazy, amazing, terrible, scary, and everything all at once. We wonder what life is about, and our place in it. Some people spend all of their lives trying to find out. Well, I know. Life just is.
People often take for granted the fact that they are alive and well. You can see it everywhere, just take a moment to look around. Grown adults living in the perfect house, with a brand new car, and the dog to complete the family; yet they want more. They take more than they need, and give less than they should. It’s everywhere. But, I do know one place you won’t see it; me. I will be honest; I never used to value what was given to me. I was reckless, I felt invincible. Never scared of anything more than spiders and the dark, I would take any dare. I would never give, I would always take. I was popular and had expensive clothes. Did I ever stop to question any of this? Of course not. It takes a lot to change how you feel about these things.
January 25th, 2010 was the day my life fell apart. Shelby Herrmann was my best friend since the day we met all the way back in 7th grade. We talked on the phone every single night, just because we never got bored with each other and our lame inside jokes. She was friendly to everybody, genuinely kind, and always very understanding. She could make you smile just by looking at you. Shelby was gorgeous, and had a great life ahead of her after just one more year of school. She was so close.
Shelby Maria-Lynn Herrmann; born June 23rd, 1993, died January 25th, 2010. Shelby had hung herself. Her step mother had finally pushed her over the edge. Nobody saw it coming, but I should have. The last words she ever said to me were “Be strong Pookie. You know all I ever want is to see you smilin’!” And that’s what I did. Her death shattered me to pieces and broke me completely, but I held on for her.
It was her voice that I heard every night in my dreams for the next month, repeating those words. I knew I couldn’t be sad or mad. I promised her I wouldn’t. Of course I missed her, but I know that when my time comes, no matter how long it takes, I can see her again; hug her one more time. Losing my best friend taught me that you shouldn’t worry about what you can’t control. Everything really does happen for a reason, and you have to just let it go.
Shelby is now, and has been my inspiration. A few months after she died, I became involved. I took a suicide awareness class, and I signed up to participate in a walk-a-thon for suicide awareness and prevention. In only one short week, I had already raised over $400. I knew right then, that is what makes me happy. I know that I can prevent others from having to deal with the pain of enduring the loss of a loved one to suicide. If I can save just one person, I’ll have made a difference in many people’s lives. I would save someone’s life, and save everyone who cares about them from pain and emptiness they would be forced to handle. I could be a hero.
I plan on majoring in psychology. With a psychology degree, I can use what I learn to save the lives of innocent individuals who just need reassurance that life is really worth living. I want to start a new life in England, where I can be free of reputations and the troubles found in my current life. I’ll have a fresh start, and I’ll be free. I’m going not only to get away from home, but to prove to myself and everybody who’s ever doubted me that I am strong enough, wise enough, and determined enough to make it on my own. The only things I will bring with me are my education and my memories. Shelby will follow me everywhere, and I’ll do my best to show the world who she was and what she’s done for me. I will make a difference. I know everything happens for a reason, and that’s why Shelby’s not here with me today. I have to just let it, whatever it is, happen, and keep in mind that life just is.