February 7, 2009

A butterfly for remembrance

There are moments in my life when i really feel that God is looking down on me, watching out for me so to speak. There are moments when you understand why a tragedy happened, or well, can finally come to terms with what happened. As personal as this story is, i have to share it.

Master and i are getting married in July. We were having issues as far as where the ceremony should be. Master wanted woods, i wanted gardens, Master wanted outdoors, we both wanted a sunset wedding which, was proving harder and harder to come by.

Today has been a not so good day, until this! Even on the way to the location, i was pissy, and begged Master to let me call and cancel our appointment! Of course, He said no lol. (Thankfully) We got there and began the tour of the gardens. Well, every garden was beautiful, they were all too small to hold the number we needed (over 150 guests) i was feeling a little defeated! The wind was blowing the chilliest breeze, and the snow had all turned to ice, so seriously, i thought i was going to fall at any given second. We were all the way to the other side of the gardens, and i saw this beautiful garden, and it looked big enough! As we got closer my eyes began to light up, and guess what was in the backround of the garden? WOODS! So Master was getting all smiley :) Then, as we approached the garden, i saw a memorial sign. The garden name? The Kristen Jackson memorial gardens..... i immediately began to cry, and my heart started racing.

You see, Kristen was a good friend of mine. We grew up together in church, and became close friends. Kristen was there for me through a horrible event in my life (a sexual assualt...followed by an unwanted pregnancy) Here in this small town, the most excitement happens in September, just after going back to school.....The county fair (lame, yes i know but that's a small town for ya!) Well, it's such a big deal, that all the schools in our county shut down for one day, and it's considered fair day! All students get in free, and it's just a really, really fun time. i passed by Kristen throughout the day, never knowing that would be the last time i would be so blessed to have known her.

Kristen went missing for days, none of us could go to school, and at church, we just prayed, and sobbed. We knew Kristen was not the type of girl to run away, and at that point, we knew something tragic had happened. Joel Yockey was later arrested for her murder. Kristen was seen by this monster walking home, (he happened to be a near by neighbor of hers) He offered to drive her home, and she got in the car with him. From there, he raped her, murdered her, and chopped her body into several pieces, and disposed of her in a nearby swamp. Her young life over. Gone just like that.

Kristen's death ripped our whole community apart, and the impact to her friends was devastating. While Kristen was taken from our lives 7 years ago, i still think of her often. These gardens were beautiful, all most as beautiful as she was. i just cried as i realized i am going to be getting married in her garden. What a wonderful way to honor her. Also, her garden is attached to the butterfly gardens, so instead of doing bubbles or a dove release, we have decided to do a butterfly release.... to honor our marriage, and Kristen's life. my heart is overjoyed.

Kristen's death made me think why me Lord? Why did i survive my sexual assualt, and not my friend? Through speaking with her family, and our pastors, i was able to move forward with what had happened to me, by seeing that i lived. i survived, unfortunately, my friend did not. Guilt took over me, which turned to depression, then acceptance, and a vow to never be a "victim." Instead, i became a survivor, and i volunteered to teach a support group for sexually assaulted girls later on.... i did this to honor Kristen. i did this, to let other girls know, not everyone lives.

i cant even really explain how i feel.... i know this is a God thing. i know He is there. This is not fate, it's been part of the plan all along. i cherished my friendship with Kristen very much, but i honestly can not say i would be here if she had not died.... the depression from what happened to me was rotting away my spirit, slowly taking over every part of me. Through her death, i saw light. After the grieving process, i found strength, i found a way to love myself, move past the pain, and appreciate the fact that i was still alive. i knew Kristen would want me to see how fortunate i was. While i mourn the loss of my good friend, i have been able to turn a negative life situation into something positive.

i called my mom immediately from the gardens today and told her the news, and she started crying.... she got in her car, and drove over to see it. We cried and hugged, it was a moment i will remember forever. i am going to make a board and put it next to the memorial sign in the garden. i want people to know who Kristen was to me, and the special life she lived in her short time here. i want to lay some fresh flowers down privately there, probably before the wedding, and just have a moment with her. i honestly do not believe it could get any better than this.

This was the song that was played at her service... Kristen.... thanks for 14 fun years of life. i was honored to call you friend.

Am I at the point of no improvement?
What are the deaths I still dwell in?
I try to excel but I feel no movement
Can I be free of this unreleasable sin

Never underestimate my Jesus
your tellin me that there's no hope
Im tellin you your wrong
Never underestimate my Jesus
when the world around you crumbles
He will be strong he will be strong

I throw up my hands
oh the impossibilities
Frustrated and tired
Where do I go from here?
Now Im searchin' for
The confidence I lost so willingly
Overcoming these obstacles
Is overcoming my fears

I think I can't
I think I can't
but I think you can
I think you can
gather my insufficiencies and
place them in your hands
place them in your hands
place them in your hands.

1 comment:

  1. this was such a sad post it made me cry, but also i am happy that you found such a meaningful place to have your wedding, and i'm so glad you're doing a butterfly release too :)