Six years ago today

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I can’t believe it has actually been six years. Six years that Renee has not been here. Six years feels more like an eternity.

It truly has been six years to the day this very  Sunday. A Sunday I will never forget for the rest of my life.

I remember it vividly. I was in the sixth grade, and the day was not normal by any means. Easter came early that year, and so it fell on this day, March 27. It was also one of my friends 13th birthday.

March 27 also marked the day I got baptized and was the first time I can even remember my brother ever coming to church.

I don’t even remember if I saw Renee that Sunday. She rarely ever came to early service, and that was the service my family and I always went to.

However, that Sunday she and her boyfriend were there for first service. In fact they sat directly in the pew behind my parents. I wish I had remembered seeing her.

Easter came and went that with all it festivities. It stormed that entire afternoon, and I remember my dad didn’t want to go to night service, so we decided not to go.

I remember reading a book in bed when my mom came in my room. Her face was very reserved, and she had her cell phone in hand.

“Renee was in a very bad wreck on her way to church,” she said. “I am not sure she is going to make it or not.”

I just stared at her. Renee couldn’t die I thought. She was only less than two minutes until she would have arrived at church. How could this happen? No. This just couldn’t be. Not to Renee.

She was my pal. At the time she was a senior in high school, so I most definitely looked up to her. She always sat with me when I waited on my mom and dad, and she always made time to talk to me.

We always talked about her playing volleyball or softball since that was the sport I played.  And, she would always tell me how bad her in-grown toe nails hurt every time she played volleyball. I am not sure why I remember that strange fact, but I do.

Renee had seizures though, and she explained it to me in terms a sixth grader could understand. She always put herself down on my level, and I guess that is why I liked her so well.

Not fifteen minutes later my mom came back in my room; her face was softened. She sat on the right hand side of my bed and gently took my book out of my hands.

“Renee has died,” she said.

I was shocked. I didn’t cry though or not immediately. This was the first person that had ever passed away in my life that wasn’t old or expected to die. It was complete smack  in the face. I did eventually cry at some point, but I am not sure when.

Her funeral followed a few days afterward. It was so strange. I remember being checked out of school to go to her funeral and what the weather was like outside. I remember everything precisely down to the flower arrangements and where a friend and I sat.

Six years ago, Renee died. However, I know where she is, and I will see her again. I know her life made an impact. She impacted my life by simply taking the time to talk to a little sixth grader like me. She impacted one of my very best friends life with her death by making her realize she needed Jesus.

She probably impacted more lives at her school and with her friends.

God blessed me by putting a kindhearted soul like her in my life. She was a blessing to all of those around her. I will always remember Renee and March 27. It is a day in my life that will never be forgotten.

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