Stacy's Garden

My Dear Stacy

It is now three weeks since I got the call that you had been killed.  I recall my 6 hour drive to Minnesota from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, thinking that when I finally arrived I’m going to be really angry at my family for playing this “practical joke” on me just to see my reaction.  Because this all had to be some sort of mistake….you weren’t dead….you couldn’t of been taken from us. 

What if this wasn’t a mistake?  Then, I convinced myself that I would be strong and I would be there for your parents.  But when I arrived at your home and I saw my brother, Mike, with his arms open, the pain on his face, I just fell into his arms and we both cried.  Then, I went over to your mom, Wanda, who had that same pained expression on her face and I cried with her too.  Oh my God! It was true…you were gone.

 It’s still hard to believe that you are gone…that I won’t see you on my visits home, that I won’t see that smile of yours.  I remember the first time I saw you.  I was home from Chicago and I came over to see you and your new home.  I remember my brother, Mike, walking into your room, picking you up from your crib and saying, “This is Stacy.”  I found myself looking into a pair of beautiful blue eyes (rather remarkable when both your parents have brown eyes), thinking, “She’s a cute little girl, Mike, but would you now show me your real daughter.”

You had that look even then of saying, “Look out world, I’m here, and I’m going to live life to the fullest!”  As I watched all the people who attended your wake and funeral, I realized that you did exactly that.  From the letters of your classmates, from the “good-byes” of your family, and from the cards and flowers offering support and comfort, I thought, “What have we lost?”  You had a short and remarkable life.  You lived it to the fullest and you touched us all just by being you.

Things have settled down now and we’re all getting back into our daily routines, but I still find myself thinking of you and I still can’t believe you’re gone.  I have your picture with me wherever I go and when people express their sympathies to me, I show them “you,” and I tell them what a special gift you are.

I find myself praying to you, Stacy, and I ask you to watch over your family and friends as we work at accepting your death and handling our anger and confusion over the question “Why?”  There is no answer that’ll make any of us feel better.  But what I hope I can do is to take the example of how you lived your life….with adventure and a smile….and live life to the fullest!!!  Because you don’t know how a smile can affect another person; just like that beautiful smile you gave to everyone you met.

Love you,

Aunt Diane V.


Music on this page: "Sierra Madre"

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