Sorry, Dear Blog, for neglecting you this long. Change came into my family the worst way imaginable...the tragic and sudden loss of a family member. I haven't been able to focus on much of anything since and am finally getting the strength to write about it.
Last month I went to Ocean Isle, NC to attend a beach wedding, not just any wedding but a real life "love story" wedding. Two of my best friends from high school (Kym & Shawn) started dating after our 20th Reunion. Neither have been married before and the circumstances surrounding them even getting together had everything to do with our reunion. A group of us friends who have remained close since high school all went to the beach for this celebration. What's ironic is that when we graduated this same group went to the beach for our senior trip. I actually drove down with the couple who were now getting married! We were together at 18 celebrating our graduation and now here we were celebrating their wedding! How incredible is that? Everything was perfect that day. There we were, all of us girls taking our time getting ready just like in high school. Hair, makeup, everyone's outfits worked out, not a single mishap. We walked out to the beach and I started taking pictures to try and avoid crying instantly (*didn't help) and was thinking in my head as I took it all in, "Thank you, thank you so much for this wonderful day..."
After the ceremony we popped back up to our room to freshen up the makeup we cried off, get the sand off our feet and head over to the reception. I grabbed my phone out of my camera bag and saw that my fiance had called twice so I called him right back. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next. He called to tell me our niece was killed in a car wreck...our beloved, beautiful Tessa was gone in an instant. The whole world stopped right then and there as I fell to my knees. I have never experienced anything like this in my life and I won't pretend for a second it's any easier a month later. This sadness has been overwhelming for me. She was only 27 years old and had so much ahead of her in this life. Tessa was a dancer from the time she was a little girl and grew to be an AMAZING dancer as well as a very gifted, award-winning choreographer. That night was going to be the debut performance at UK of her latest creation. She never made it.
I wouldn't have believed that one minute a person could be so full of joy and happiness and in the very next minute be completely destroyed, it just doesn't seem possible. I've now lived it so I know you can. Now is the hardest part of all...learning to live without her. The only thing I can do at this point is take it one day at a time as I continue with my own journey. There isn't a way for me to describe how much I loved her, how much we all loved her or all the hope I had for her life and what she was going to share with the world. As hard as it is right now I know life has to move forward because time doesn't stop. My life is going on but I'm going to miss her every day for the rest of it.
Tessa Anne Harris
July 15, 1982 ~ April 24, 2010
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