Gift of a Friend

So yesterday something rather terrible happened to a few kids from my high school. Five people, all nineteen and graduated the year before me, were driving in Santa Clarita–possibly off-roading, there is no confirmation on that yet, to my knowledge. The car tumbled two hundred feet down an embankment. Three died in accident and two are in the hospital. I knew four out of five of them–not well, but nevertheless. It is under investigation whether or not alcohol was involved, but knowing those people, I wouldn’t be too surprised if it was. A very similar incident occurred in Burbank last year, with a car in flames and one survivor. Drunk driving is serious, people.

But I got to spend the last two days with Stephanie at her school. I heard about the accident while Steph was at class, and I told her as soon as she walked in the door. I do believe it is sad and I feel terribly sorry for the families of the victims, but I personally was not affected by it because I barely knew them. I’m praying for their families, though.

I couldn’t even imagine that happening to any of my friends. Being with Stephanie when I found out made me realize how lucky I am to have her. To have all of my friends. I am grateful every day for my life, you know that if you’ve kept up with my past posts, but I am also so unbelievably grateful for my friends and my family. I can’t imagine losing them.

IMG_3871I thank God every day for blessing me with these people that I care about so much. He does have a plan, and taking the lives of these five teenagers is part of it. I am thankful that I have not experienced that kind of loss. Because I treasure my friendships so deeply, I feel awfully for those that are close to the victims of accidents like this.

I do not know what I would have done without Stephanie this past year. She has been with me through so much, and I am happy to have had her. She is the person I go to for advice. I mean, I go to Natalie and my other friends too, of course, but I wasn’t with them the last two days, was I? Stephanie and I have been on a roller coaster together throughout every year of high school, and I am so happy that we are where we are in life.

IMG_3870She’s my little one ❤ I mean that as she it probably the only one of my friends who is noticeably shorter than me. She looks especially small in this photo. Or I just look abnormally large…and awkward. Regardless, this picture represents our friendship perfectly.

I am also so thankful that I have Natalie in my life. For the last seven years, she has been my rock. There was a time when I was stuck in the Dark Place and wanted to give up, but she had just moved across the country and was having a difficult time. She needed me, so I was there. Even though she never knew I depended on her more than I let on, I knew I couldn’t give up on her. And now that we will finally be in the same place (TOMORROW) I am even more grateful for her. Our friendship has been through so much because we’ve lived in different places for so long. Like, we have lived in different cities for longer than we’ve lived in the same one.

I also have Gracie and Edie and Ally. I don’t know what I would have done without them. This summer has changed me and I can’t believe who I have become because of these five amazing people in my life. They have helped me live my life, the life I am supposed to be living. In the last few months, I have barely had Bad Thoughts, and I feel free. If I were to lose them…I would break. I cannot put into words how much I appreciate having them in my life.

I can’t even express how lucky I am right now. But as much as I am happy, that is how much I feel for the victims’ families. No one deserves this; I would never wish death upon anyone. No one wakes up in the morning and expects to never do that activity again. After the anniversary of 9/11, this makes me that much more blessed.

IMG_3872The boy all the way on the right lost one of his best friends yesterday. I can’t even imagine…I used to swoon at that boys voice (he was in choir with me) and now he will never sing again.

Life is short. Life is precious. Life is meant to be lived.

I keep saying that my new life will begin on Monday when I am officially moved into my new apartment in college, but I’ve been living this whole time. Okay, maybe not living, but I have been alive. I am grateful and lucky to be alive. Times like this make me want to fight the Dark Place even more because I am not done living. I believe that the Lord hasn’t put me through any of this is he didn’t have something big planned for me. And I will live to see that day and many beyond.

Keep those families in your prayers, please. No one should have to go through that pain. And thank God (or who or whatever you believe in) every second because you are blessed. Don’t take anything for granted.

Love, A

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