She wrote it several months ago only to share it with me tonight. It is good to be loved and I am thankful my girl had these girls -even if it was for too short a time.
I am thankful Josie's surgeon prayed with her today before removing the screws inserted in her leg over a year ago. I am thankful there is no more physical damage to that little sprite. I am thankful Taylor has Josie's mom listed as "Momma Smith" in her phone- that Kim was already that kind of love to her. I am thankful for sweet girls that take the time to call and text. They have the corner of my heart.
I am thankful for my mama.
I am thankful for a little girl so full of love and life and light that we can't help but remember...
A piece of my heart - by Madison Barnes
Union High School
Class of 2013
Artist and extraordinary young woman
January 7, 2015. Today was just an ordinary day – I went out for breakfast with an old friend and spent the afternoon interning in downtown Tulsa. On the way home, I turned on Coldplay (a totally normal, if not predictable, thing for me to do). Before I knew it, I was weeping. Not like a few tears – this was a torrential downpour of tears (in retrospect, I definitely should have pulled over) and the entire drive down Riverside was filled with weepy tears and Clocks on repeat and most of all, a flood of memories from that day 5 months ago.
Center of the Universe Festival
July 26, 2014. I remember this day better than I remember most days of my life. It is as vivid as if it were yesterday. This is the last day I spent with a dear friend.
“Any song requests?” I had asked in the car on the way to the festival. I got shotgun that day, since I was the only one wearing a dress, and everyone knows shotgun = DJ. We had just left Blue Rose Cafe, and we were driving down Boston Avenue. Taylor and Josie immediately chimed in, “NOT COLDPLAY!!!” (If you give me the aux cord, I’m probably gonna play a Coldplay song. Forever a crowd pleaser). This was the day Taylor and Josie woke up (we had successfully discovered that 3 girls indeed fit in my queen size bed if you sleep sideways) and went to a workout class (I definitely skipped that part of the day) and then they picked me up for lunch at the Witcher’s. This was the day we decided to be cliché festival-goers and wear flower crowns in our hair because who cares what anyone else thinks? This was the day we were supposed to celebrate because it was our last full day of freedom before returning to our house, The Pickard House, in Norman for recruitment. We spent the day swimming and eating good food and enjoying each others company. I remember our conversations about our tiny kitchen at the Pickard house – Taylor and Josie had every kitchen item necessary and had even stocked the freezer and I was only allowed to bring coffee mugs IF I MUST.
We went to the Center of the Universe festival that night – Young the Giant was awesome – and we were on our way. Of course, the night is never over right after a concert. There is a certain kind of giddiness and energy that comes after being at a concert. You can’t just go home. So naturally, we went to QuikTrip. Now, keep in mind, this is a downtown Tulsa QuikTrip, and us ladies can’t simply go inside at this hour of the day. So we sent Price inside while we waited patiently in the car. Josie needed her orange juice and I needed my DDP with vanilla (but this particular location was out of DDP so I settled for Coke… I’m telling you, I remember everything about this day). Then we headed on to my house. Taylor, Josie, and I made it home to change into comfortable clothes and rejoice in our last day of freedom. We made it up to my room, and at this very moment I noticed just how messy my room was (I’m always a mess – but this time it was a particular kind of “you are leaving for Norman at 9 in the morning, it is past midnight, you haven’t packed a thing” realization) and somehow logic kicked in. Instead of celebrating the last moments of freedom, I needed to pack. And that was that.
Taylor assured me that I would hardly be missing out on anything (FOMO is a real thing), because we were going to be roommates all semester and we would have lots and lots of fun times. Taylor hugged me and said, “Bye Madz. I love you, and I’ll see you tomorrow.” I walked them out to her car, said goodbye to Price, Taylor, and Josie, and returned inside to pack.
The next morning, I woke up (one of those weird days you wake up before your alarm and check your phone) to a living nightmare. I got a text from my Theta big, Kendal, telling me about the accident. And from that day forward, my life would never be the same.
Every conversation that day, every landmark, every street we drove on; it all came flooding back to me today. It’s quite the mix of emotions – I am blessed beyond measure that I got to spend time on earth with Taylor, but my heart is still absolutely shattered that her time here got cut short.
I will forever cherish all of the memories I have with Taylor. A perfect example of her light and love was on my birthday – Taylor, Kendal, and Josie came to Tulsa with me (in the middle of finals week) to celebrate my birthday by going to the Gavin DeGraw concert with me when they all had 8 am finals in Norman the next morning. If that’s not an extraordinary kind of friendship, I don’t know what is.
Even five months later, it still feels like an open wound. I am still healing, just like everyone else. I’ll never fully recover and I’ll never be the same. Waves of sadness come at random times, even when I’m driving down my favorite street and listening to my favorite song. However, even in the pain and sadness of losing a friend, of questioning why this happened, of questioning why I got out of the car that night, and why this ended so horribly, there is still a tiny light that comes from it all.
I am choosing to live this semester with optimism and joy. Life is too short to be defeated by depression and sadness. I am going to live with the same spunk and enthusiasm for life that Taylor had. After all, “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.”
Go light the world
You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 1 Thessalonians 5:5
THIS ENTRY WAS TAGGED GO LIGHT THE WORLD, TRW.
Love you Madz