Four years ago tonight I received a startling phone call from my grandma.
“Pray for Amanda,” she began. “I don’t have all of the details, but she was in a skiing accident—hit a tree, I think—and is being rushed to the hospital.”
Amanda (pictured above, left, with her sister Allison) is my cousin—my mom’s sister’s daughter. Sixteen years old at the time, she was with her high school ensemble on their way to sing at a youth conference. En route, the group stopped for a planned skiing activity.
A few minutes after that first call, Grandma called again. Before she could even say it, I knew. Through a tight throat and tears she said what none of us ever wanted to hear, “Our Amanda is in Heaven.”
That was four years ago, and I still miss Amanda. Just this past Christmas, as our extended family gathered, I thought of Amanda and her bubbly enthusiasm that would have been overflowing into every activity, every conversation, every event that she engaged in. Continue reading