I'm going to re-post my old entries from the time it happened. I won't say that the tragic events were the turning point in my life, but it was a defining moment. Both Pebbles and I vowed to bring some good out of the events, and with five years perspective, I think we've both succeeded. Pebbles, along with the family, worked very hard to establish a scholarship fund in her honor to pay for interior design students to spend a semester in Italy. That scholarship is now fully funded. Every fall semester a financially deserving interior design student goes to live in Florence for a semester, all in Mindy's name. For me, it was the event that allowed me to let go of the unimportant. And much of what we worry about is unimportant. I've kept that tenet or at least try to get back to it as soon as possible. My heart is heavy this morning, but it is also grateful. My entries as they appeared at the time:
Senior Show #1 Entry Monday Morning
I'm not a sentimental person, really. I don't save mementos; I've never kept a scrapbook, save a few months in eighth grade. I had no problem in sending her off to school; no real issues at high school graduation. That being said, I'm an emotional wreck this morning. I just walked through the gallery where Pebbles and the rest of her class are mounting their senior show.
This stage of her life is nearly over. I'm losing her. She's an adult and she's moving on with her life. I'm proud of her and sad that our relationship will never really be like this ever again. It is an inevitable part of life and one that I hope she embraces fully. However, I can't help but feel a bit of loss. Selfish, I know.
When I walked through the gallery-area, there she was busily working - displaying three years worth of work, talent and progress. I wasn't going to say anything, but she noticed me, got up, came over and hugged me and told me that she loved me. The tears just rolled.
My boss, god bless him, went over and took some pictures of the show being put together - I hadn't even thought of taking pictures (see no memento comment above).
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Enjoy every stage of life.
The World Can Change In An Instant #2 Monday Morning
Pebbles' best friend and fellow interior design student was killed in an automobile accident this morning on her way to do her part of the setup for the senior show.
Pebbles is devastated.
I brought Pebbles home and am trying to comfort her. She's talking to the parents right now. My thoughts from earlier this morning seem incredibly petty and even more selfish. My heart breaks for Pebbles and for Mindy's family. I cannot imagine such a loss. I don't even want to think about it.
#3 Monday afternoon
Pebbles is resting now. Bless her heart. She is in agony over this.
She last spoke to her at about 4:30 this morning. Both girls had been up all night preparing for the senior show.
She was the girl Pebbles went to Tennessee with in the infamous Fall 2003 road trip.
She was here on the Friday morning when I was having a meltdown while decorating Lyn's cakes. I knew her well. They had been inseparable.
They were planning on going to Italy together in the fall.
I'm at a complete loss as to how to help, what to say, what to do. And I know that this is just the beginning.
#4 More Monday Evening
Pebbles is hanging in there. We went this afternoon to clean out to clean out their shared locker in studio. Pebbles wants to gather some of her work to display at the senior design show, as her final project was probably destroyed in the accident.
Pebbles is alternating between wanting me near and pushing me away. Right now she is attending a candlelight vigil on campus. I'm so worried about her. I don't want her to isolate over this. I'm trying to offer just the right amount of support, but honestly, I want her with me. I don't want her out of my sight.
The saddest thing you will ever hear in your life is your child sobbing uncontrollably in the shower.
Thanks for the kind words. They really do help. And if you are the type who prays, please say a prayer for all involved.
Pebbles has been asked to speak at the funeral. I don't know that I could do it, even at my age and with my distance.
Pebbles and I went to visit the family last night. She went to comfort them and instead, they provided comfort for her. As she said when we arrived home "It's the best thing I could have done".
The family is extraordinary. I'm just sorry that I had to meet them under these circumstances. They and Pebbles told stories, exchanged hugs and tears.
She and I then drove by the accident site on the way home. The guardrail has been repaired.
Her parents had planned to visit her while the girls were in Italy this fall. The parents told Pebbles last night that they are still planning on going, and will visit with her while she is studying abroad. Pebbles and I both hope they will do so.
So, a small bit of peace has crept in - today, anyway. The memorial service is tomorrow, with another service and burial in Arkansas on Monday. As it stands now, I'm renting a car and Pebbles and I are attending the out-of-state services as well.
Again, thanks for the kind thoughts and concern. They do provide comfort.
#7 Comfort Friday
I don't know if I have ever been so proud of Pebbles as I was yesterday. She wrote and delivered a beautiful, heart-felt, warm, loving and sometimes funny eulogy yesterday. It was a hard day for everyone, but the service really was beautiful, personal and celebratory in nature. It was both sad and comforting.
Tonight is the senior show reception. Pebbles told me this morning that she didn't want to go, but I asked her "What would Mindy do?" And she said Mindy would go buy some great new shoes and she would go.
So, Pebbles and I are leaving in a few minutes to shop for some knock out shoes to go with a knock-out dress that I bought her last fall.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Because life can be far too short.
- Roxie May 2009