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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Defining Moments of Youth.

Terry Alan Pool... Nov 8, 1962-Feb. 17, 1981
Throughout life we are graced with many defining moment. Moments when suddenly the cloudy become clear, moments when we realize which direction we should or should not be going. I was thinking back this morning on the defining moment when I was a senior in high school. Three days after my 18th birthday I woke up with the feeling that it was going to be one of those days. I remember lying in bed debating whether or not I would go to school or not. I rarely missed school especially my senior year, because being a senior was so much fun it was almost like cheating the system. Finally I drug myself out of bed, threw on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt (which had to be either gold and blue, or blue and gold), our school colors. I remember sitting in Mrs. Reynolds class with my head on the desk waiting for the bell to ring and class to start. One of my best friends walked into class and asked to talk to me out in the hall. I immediately thought that was weird, "why couldn't she just talk to me in class?" I was praying there wasn't "girl drama", because I wasn't in the mood for it. When we got out in the hall she told me that one of our good friends had fatally shot himself the night before. I remember standing in the hall staring at her with no words to be said. I walked back into the classroom, stunned and dazed. I picked up my books and headed home without a word to anyone. When I got home I crawled back into bed hoping I would wake up and everything would be just a horrible nightmare..... Sadly it wasn't. The day before Terry's funeral my friend and I went to pay our respects at the funeral home. My Mom had offered to go with me, but it was something I knew I needed to do by myself. Tonya and I drove to the funeral home in silence and as we were walking across the parking lot I remember thinking to myself...... "This is what it feels like to be grown up. This is something Mom and Dad can't fix, can't make better, and it's not going to go away. This is the world of adults."  At that moment I wasn't so sure I wanted to experience the adult world. Being a kid was a nice cozy place to be. Right then and there I realized life would be full of not only good times, but times you hurt and there was no way to escape it. As much as I would have like to have been magically transported to happier place and time, I just bowed my head and plowed through the pain, as did all of my friends. Tragically the same day Terry died, another girl from our school died. I don't remember the school having grief counselors come in and talk to us like they do today. Even if they had, I would have probably been at home buried underneath a million blankets waiting for the world to go back to normal.  Why this memory popped up today, I have no idea. Maybe it's because February is close. My youngest is 16 and sometimes I have a little niggle of thinking I would love to spare him from moments like those. Thankfully, most defining moments aren't as traumatic as a death and the joy of life outweighs the tears.  The defining moments, good or bad, make life what it is..... A bitter sweet learning experience of ups and downs. We all make it through them and come out on the other side wiser and with a memory of what that defining moment meant for us. Rest in peace Terry.

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