Monday, August 13
It's hard to describe how I feel today. I'm dealing with this the only way I know how, by writing and journaling. This morning, I woke up and the biggest worry on my mind was hearing back about my car still broken down in Missoula and going to my five hour shift at work with a coffee in hand. But I suppose that's how it always goes; you wake up not expecting the day to be any different and then you get the phone call that makes every little thing seemingly unimportant. I won't lie and act like we stayed in touch after high school and maintained the friendship we had, because unfortunately, we drifted apart before graduation naturally without any hard feelings or resentment. But our friendship was something I continued to cherish and just a story of the natural progression of two people just falling into different crowds and perhaps just moving in different directions. She is and always will be someone who inspired me and helped me through some of my own difficult times. Anne was Anne, there isn't another way of saying it.
There was a period of time in high school where I didn't really know where I "fit" or who I really wanted to be friends with. I went through a pretty difficult death in the family and in the aftermath, I'll never forget that it was Anne who knew what to say and possibly the only person who could relate; even though her situation had been much more difficult than mine. She was a close friend for a period of time and my only friend at that for a long while. In a lot of ways, I feel guilty right now, sitting here at my computer trying to get out the emotion I'm feeling right now because Anne was someone that just had an affect on every person. She wanted to change the world and at 20, she was already doing that. She died in an accident fighting a fire for the US Forest Service and I'm sitting here on my computer, blogging, and my biggest accomplishment is... going to college? She had a smile that made everyone feel loved, gave more than she ever took, performed the best break-dance talent our high school's Junior Miss will ever see, and was the best kind of friend anyone could have. She never asked, she was just there. She was a friend I'll always look up to and stronger than any single person I'll ever meet.
Life may have taken us down different paths, but what's important is remembering who she is. That won't change. When I look at my own life, it makes me wonder if there is anything in my life I'm doing selflessly for other people in the same way or if there is anything I would give my life for. It hurts the most knowing that this kind of tragedy could happen to someone so good, so real, and so giving and to a family who was so selfless and humble as a whole. Her death doesn't make her accomplishments more noble or more worthy; truthfully, Anne was a person that didn't need decoration or attention for others to know that she was one of a kind. I'm devastated and so, so sad today, but none of my personal grief can amount to what her family is going through or the loss the world will feel because of this. I'm praying for her family and keeping them in my thoughts because to lose someone like Anne isn't just a tragedy, it's impossible. I feel blessed to have been a part of her life while I was and know that she is someone who will always continue to push and inspire me. She's not one of the best, she's the best.