She was my first girlfriend and I've been very close with her family ever since. The guy driving was drunk. He started to run off the road and over-corrected too hard which flipped the truck and threw my friend (Kara) and his girlfriend out of the truck.
Her parents called and asked that I write something for the funeral; they want me to speak.
What I wrote ended up being put in the local newspaper and I thought I would post it here.
Please don't drive drunk.
Originally, I planned to speak at Kara's wedding. To make sure the guy knew how bad I'd hurt him if he ever did anything to hurt her. Now, here I stand, completely unprepared that I might, one day, be speaking at her funeral.
At our age, and for nearly every waking moment, we've become accustomed to taking life by the horns and trying to control everything we do. But in these moments, when we're abruptly shaken of everything we thought we knew, it's us that seems to stand still in time. To watch life pass us by as we so desperately hold on to someone that had a significant impact in our lives. Last time, it was Ryan. This time, it's Kara. We learn here that life is as fragile as we've been told. Remember this moment. Remember this moment for the rest of your lives because one day, 20 years from now, Julie will pick up her phone, Caity will pick up her phone and I'll know I'll pick up my phone to tell Kara something we've heard, something that's happened. In this moment, we'll remember. We'll remember her smile, her way to bring positivity out of any negative situation and her entire, beautiful existence.
Remember this moment, because you are a brother, a sister. A son or a daughter. Maybe a mother or a father. Each choice that we make in this life impacts more than just ourselves. Each and every one of us have a spider web of hundreds of people that care about us -- and in Kara's case, thousands. One of the saddest and most self-centered things you can see in someone is too much pride. If you're reading this and you have a family member that you haven't spoken with, I don't care if it has only been a week or if it has been years, you go home and you fix it. If you have a mother that you "can't get along with," because your ego won't let you -- go home and you apologize. You look her in the eyes and you tell her how much she means to you. How your world revolves around her. You look your brother in the eyes, your sister, your son or your daughter and you make damn sure that they know you wouldn't know how to live without them. Because that chance isn't guaranteed. What a miserable thought to be at an alter one day speaking about how you never took the chance, rather than speaking about how you chose to be a strong person, took the chance, and repaired those relationships in your life.
For the people my age, remember this moment the next time you think about driving a car after you've had "only a couple drinks." I know I will see people and I know I will see faces at Kara's funeral, but I'm wondering how many souls with fresh scars I will see. I know there are some of you who have already planned to go party this weekend as if it's some sort of tribute to Kara. You should be disgusted with yourselves. You aren't going to be able to put your seatbelt on before you wreck and that's an incredible metaphor for life. Nothing can prepare you for or protect you from these moments. Walk outside, breathe deeply, feel the air and understand that it is your lungs keeping you alive, not any materialistic thing you've attached yourself to. Remember that your family gave you life and how important each moment is with them. Remember that each person you come in contact with has pain of their own and there's no reason to add to it. Remember that the only way we're going to move forward, is together.
"And the end comes too soon, like dreaming of angels, and leaving without them." #RememberThisMoment