Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Butterflies are Free...

Hey everyone,

{{{Kind of a long post today.  PLEASE scroll down for MERCY'S TUESDAY SKETCH CHALLENGE and a preview of a BRAND NEW stamp from the Greeting Farm that is FAIRY awesome, if you ask me ;)}}}

Today's Challenge at Die Cuts R Us has us feeling girlie and whimsical and I LOVE that!   There aren't a whole lot of cards I want to make that DON'T involve at least one of those two things, LOL.   Anyway, today's challenge is to simply create a "girly" card and so head on over to the DCRU DT Blog for more details on that!

Also, be sure to check out what the rest of the DCRU DT has been up for this challenge:
Ok, now for the disclosure, LOL....: The rest of this post is a bit nerve-wracking as the idea for my card today came from a date that I wish I didn't have to commemorate, but that has left an indelible mark on my life as well as many others around me.  I wrote something several years ago and haven't showed it to anyone and well, for some reason, today I felt it was time.

Eighteen years and 9 days ago, I got a phone call from a friend to let me know that one of my childhood best friends Meggan had been in a terrible accident.  She was 14, I was 15.   It had been a few years since I had seen her on a real regular basis because I had moved to another town and we were going to different schools, but she was one of my favorite people and I adored her and her family.

On November 17th, 1991, Meggan died as an innocent victim of a careless, reckless, and horrific drunk driving incident.  The next year or so of my life was pretty tied up with emotion, regret...a year that was  consumed by following the news and papers to be sure that justice was done to the drunk kids responsible for her accident and that ultimately took her life.  I became a confirmed Catholic that year and took her name w/ special permission from my church as my Confirmation name to honor her life.   Most importantly, though, I made the choice to become an advocate for my high school friends about the dangers of drinking and driving and the devastating impact and ruined lives it can cause in the process.   That is one thing I NEVER did and now that I'm a mom myself, I really hope I can instill this in my kids.

I normally try not to turn blog posts into Public Service announcements but please, do not drink and drive.  If there is anything I know, it is the pain and sheer agony that has been caused to Meggan's family and all the people in her life who knew her and loved her...including me.  Not to mention the two other girls killed in that crash.  It happens all the time...every minute... and it has to stop.  When I think about who that wonderful, BEAUTIFUL girl would have been today it makes me crazy to think that it couldn't have been stopped...I can only imagine how her family feels.  Especially today.  November 17th.

There isn't much I can do today to comfort her family who still relives this horrific event every day...not even much I can do for myself not to be sad from time to time, but you better believe that I will do everything I can to turn around what I know and try to remind people, especially my own family.    In thinking about all of this tonight, I wrote something for Meg, and although I'm a little apprehensive about sharing it, it means too much not to.


My whole life I've been obsessed with butterflies.   You all know this by now, I'm sure :)   When Meggan died, the liturgy program for her funeral mass had the words "Butterflies are free" typed on it.   It moved me at 15; you can only imagine how it moves me to think about that now.   I hope you, too are moved by the poem I wrote so many years ago...the rhythm/banter isn't the best, obviously, but I hope you find it as meaningful as I do and that it moves you in some way.  You may have to click on the pic to read it better, but those were my words years ago and they still ring so, so true today.

Thanks for reading if you've gotten this far.    I just want to say this:


Even if you tell ONE person not to drink and drive today, you could save a life.  Perhaps several.

I want to dedicate today's post to Meggan's family, specifically my friend Jen, Meg's sister.  She is a beautiful person on the inside and out and I know she could use an extra hug today...which I am sending across the miles, Jen..to you and your Mom.   Thanks for all you do to educate people and to keep Meg alive and with her loved ones as best you can.   I love you guys always.

Much love and thanks for being here,
Jessica

37 comments:

Fran said...

Your words are so vey beautiful and your story has deeply touched me. Thank you so much for sharing, I think you too deserve hugs today.

Lisa Foster said...

***Tears*** Thank you for sharing this tragic, yet beautiful story. I am so sorry for your loss...there is no time limit on that.
Your card is absolutely beautiful!
HUGE Hugs to you, My Friend!
Lisa

Peggy said...

A beautiful tribute to your friend! Your story and poem are so touching. I will be sending your post to my good friend who lost her son last year. His death was not drunk driving related but a beautiful yellow butterfly presented itself to both her and her daughter shortly after his death. So butterflies have become a significance to her just as they did me when my grandmother died many years ago.
Sending you lots of hugs today!!

Jen Pontow said...

Jessica, You are an amazing person and were an amazing friend to my sister. I love you and you really have no idea what this means to me. It is a beautiful poem written by a beautiful lady who I am ever so thankful to have back in my life!!! I love you!

Rachel said...

It was great of you to share that with us and we will all remember Meg today. I got all teary just reading your story and I think it's great that you are still honoring her even today.

Donna said...

thank you for sharing your heart with us. You are such a wonderful friend; I can tell in your loving tribute and the words in your poem (which is great, by the way). I'm saddened by this tragic event. My BFF in high school was also a victim of the same, a young kid drunk driving. Her mom was killed in the crash and her & her dad survived (she was just a baby too, without enough memories of her mom because of it). It is so painful for her.

Andrea said...

it's a beautiful poem, brought tears to my eyes. thank you for sharing about your precious friend's memory and the dangers of drunk driving. I am with you on being an advocate- if someone has been drinking and wants to drive I let them know I will not hesitate to call the police and report their license plate- I will not stand idley by and watch this happen. hugs to you today....

Kris said...

Beautiful card... both, what you have to show and the meaning behind it!! a very touching story Jess... TFS! hugs, Kris

Mary(OhioMary) said...

Jessica this is a beautiful tribute to your friend and her family. I'm sorry for yours and their loss. It is just a reminder to us all to be responsible in our actions and live each day to the fullest. Thank you for sharng you heart with us.

Cassie said...

such a beautiful poem and card jess! i'm glad you shared it with us!

62 Cards - Sammye Jo said...

As a girl who has lost her brother way too young (18), I KNO her family appreciates this. I thank God every day that in my brother's loss, there was no one else and no alcohol involved. Find comfort that your beautiful friend continues to watch over you and that you too are helping to keep her spirit alive by sharing her story with us. Much love- SJ

Cindy Haffner said...

This is Beautiful Jess. Hugs Cindy

margie c said...

What a sweet and beautiful tribute to your friend and their family.

Thank you for sharing your story with us... {hugs!}

Heather Schlatter said...

Sitting on the phone with you with tears streaming down my face this post is so increadibly touching and so personal and special and I really feel for Megan's family and I love this card and the sentiment behind it!!!!

The Poem is amazing I used to write poetry all the time and have no idea where much of my poetry ended up, but this means a lot to me just because it reminds me of myself at this age!!!

You are a great friend Jess and I love your spirit and I love that I have met you and become such good friends!!!!!

Heather

Elena said...

Beautiful tribute to your friend and family, Jessica...
I am really sorry that it happenned...
Thank you for sharing this story.

Yvette said...

What an incredible tribute to your friend and her family! Your poem is very touching too. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

Suzanne J Dean said...

Beautiful & Touching--what a loving way to honor a friend! Thank you for sharing that story with us all!

hugz,
Suzanne

Kim Nath said...

A very touching story and a message that can't be told often enough. It is an incredibly beautiful poem and card.

Shesjetlagd said...

Sista, such a touching, incredibly beautiful tribute to Meggan and her family!

Sparkle said...

What a lovely poem and great tribute! Gorgeous work putting it all together.

Denise (peanutbee) said...

Oh my gosh, what a BEAUTIFUL post, beautiful poem....seriously, girl, I got misty-eyed.

See, I'm a little butterfly obsessed myself. Want to see? a post of mine from 2008?.... http://thepaperlandscaper.blogspot.com/2008/04/rakand-butterfly-story.html

Donna said...

This is just exquisite Jess, You have an amazing and beautiful heart. Just reading all the wonderful comments left here for you I know you have touched so many... I think that the butterflies are perfect (they are my favourite too) and you have turned a beautiful poem into a stunning work of art... Xx

WickedPixie said...

Big HUGS to you Jess! This is a beautiful, touching tribute. :-)Traci

~*Joni said...

Oh Jess, I wasn't on much yesterday but had to come and see this story. I too lost a very sweet friend around that age and was very moved by it. Gambrelle was so smart that her parents opted to send her to a Prep Academy that was on a different island. It was so hard to read her obituary as it seemed so surreal! Huge hugs to you and her family, what a great dedication you've done taking her name during Confirmation and remembering her all these years.

Ann Kranitz said...

Jess, what a horrible thing to have lived through at such a young age. Your post today truly moved me and there is no doubt in my mind that your post in Meggan's Honor has touched and made an impact on many lives today. I am sending you big hugs my friend!

Cheryl Walker said...

Awww Jessica I love your poem hun, and yes its very very sad what happened to your friend sooo many years ago. I know ive always been agaisnt drinking and driving and we tell our family the same thing. Anyways hun, I love your poem its BEAUTIFUL!!!! Hugs to you!
cheryl

Gabby said...

OMG Jessica...this made me cry...that beautiful poem. I too lost a friend when I was young...I was 13...we were both 13. We were best friends since pre-school and so were our moms. She was also an innocent life cut short...only she was shot in the head by gang bangers while going to a family party. I still remember her and cry at times because of how much I still miss her. We were always planning things together...mostly our weddings. I was watching Bride Wars a couple days ago and could see me and her and I cried like a baby. What makes me think of her are faries...she loved fairies...hence my love for fairies. Her name was Claudette...so sometimes when I go to the TGF blog and see Claudette's name...my Claudette comes to mind. HUGS to you my dear friend. Always hold that dear friend in your heart...

Gabby said...

BTW...I've always been against drunk drivers. I've seen my share of horror accidents living in L.A. to just look the other way.

MicheyMoo said...

What a beautiful poem Jess. So sad that this tragedy touched your life and also that her family have had to continue living without their daughter/sister in their lives.

Thank you for sharing your tragedy with us.....if only the message about drink driving would get through to the people who need to listen and understand it the most. Keep on SHOUTING it from the rooftops, I say!! You never know how many lives you have saved by getting the message out there.

Hugs, Michey xxx

GobeaGirl said...

Jessica, you wrote an amazing poem. I find it very comforting. My favorite cousin was killed by a drunk driver when he was just 18. This happen in 1976 while he was driving home he ran across a truck that had gone off the road. While he was helping the young man get out of his truck a drunk driver came around the curve in the road striking Steven's truck and pinned both Steven and the other man under the truck. They both died in the hospital without ever coming to. Steven was a gentle soul that was not ment to be kept here, but I will always miss him. I was much younger at the time than he was, so I do not know the exact date that he died, I only know that it was very close to Christmas and I never got the chance to say goodbye to him. You are a wonderful person to still think of your friend and her family..I loved your poem. Hugs, Lisa G

Darla said...

Beautiful poem Jess. You have a way with words, and combining that with artwork. Thanks for sharing, and I'm sorry for your loss those many years ago and your effort in educating people about the dangers of drunk driving.

Shirley said...

Your card is beautiful just like she was and you are! It is a breath of fresh air to know someone who has conviction and caring too! TFS, Jess

Mary said...

That was Beautiful Jessica!
My heart aches for you and Meggan's Family.
I will pray That you and Meggan's Family feel Our Lords loving comfort and peace. You know that he protects Her now and that she is in His prescence and flying free.
God Bless you,
Mary

Amy Sheffer said...

What a wonderful tribute to Meggan. Beautiful and wise post, too. You've touched my heart and many others I'm sure. Big hugs to you!!

Tasha said...

Wow what a moving poem! Such a beautiful tribute to your friend Megan and im sure you have moved everyone who has read this!
love tasha xx

Lisa Hjulberg said...

It needs to be said, and always bears repeating.

Hugs,
Lisa

Lydia said...

Well I wouldn't know this beautiful girl without you. Hugs for your loss, your courage and the little flame you keep lit for her. I'm honored to have you in my life.