Last night I opened my Instagram to briefly look through and the very first post in front of me took my breath away. It was a picture of the new staff members of the organization my daughter was a staff member of for before she was killed. It hit me like a ton of bricks! I frantically searched the picture looking for a familiar face or hoping in some imaginable way to see my daughter's face and wake up from this nightmare. Of course I did not see Carly in the picture, but remembered her in the pictures from the year before. She was so excited to be on staff and worked all summer on new and exciting ideas for the organization's year ahead. I thought of her roommates that were also on staff last year, none of which are involved this year. It made me realize that life has changed for those that loved Carly as well. Starting a new year will be very different for all of them.
It's hard watching all the college kids go off to a new year, even though it is during covid. It especially hurts seeing them move to College Station. I want to warn every student there about the risks of walking in a congested town full of pedestrian students. Also, this is where Carly should be starting her junior year. I think about all the new freshmen that are oblivious about what happened to Carly last September. It makes me sad that life is moving forward and Carly is left behind. I am so honored by her sorority though, Kappa Delta for keeping her memory alive with a presentation on her during the end of rush. I am very thankful for their continued love and support.
I have anxiety about seeing people with college aged children in fear of hearing about their child's life. That is something that I am not ready to hear yet. I hope and pray that none of their children get hit while walking off the road by an intoxicated driver. Beyond that, it is a huge reminder that my college aged child is gone. I hope my friends understand this and keep the stories from me. It is a hard reality to be in the middle of, missing my child and having friends with the same aged children. I have seen their children grow up and am interested in hearing about their lives, but not right now, the pain is too great. One day I hope I can share in their child's life again, but honestly, I'm not sure if I ever will. Maybe this is part of my unwanted, and forced new life.
I hope through my family's tragedy to save the lives of others. I'm not sure what that looks like yet, but I do know that Carly should be alive. It is not right that an intoxicated driver can take a life away. Something needs to change in our country!