Twenty-four hours ago if somebody told me what my day was going to consist of today I would have said good joke. Everything playing out today has made me weak, scared, happy, sad, frightened, lost, and everything in between. The tragic death of my ex girlfriend, close friend, and classmate Carlee Houghtelin has literally left me without feeling, or words to say. How could someone so heart warming, beautiful, funny, and kind, with so much life to live leave this world in the blink of an eye?
Being a member of the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department we carry pagers that go off when we are requested at an emergency scene. Last night, or early morning at 1:50am my pager tripped. We were requested for traffic control on 376 for a car accident. When I woke up, for some reason something in my head said not to go and to just sleep…so i did. I woke up at 6:50am, got dressed and went to work at 7. around 8 I was told to go to the garage where we park and keep everything because my dad had to tell me something. When I pulled up I could tell something was not right. I got out of the truck and he looked at me with glassy eyes, and said “Carlee passed away last night in a car accident” at that moment I remember my body went numb and I had no words to say. He knew that my mind had not processed the information and let me go on my way. The half mile back to the job site felt like years, so many memories coming back to me, more so the little things.Then I made the connection as if God didn’t want me to go to that fire call, he told me to stay in bed and rest. When I arrived I felt weak all over, mouth dry and stomach aching. I proceeded to help everyone out with whatever it was we were doing. Constantly on my phone, asking people what happened, friends asking if I was ok, and looking at all the posts on Facebook from everyone. I decided to take a half day so I could have the afternoon to just collect thoughts and connect with everyone who had sent me messages or called. Nothing felt real to me, as if I was outside my body just watching myself drag my feet and slur words when trying to talk to someone. I couldn’t tell sweat from tears the whole morning. When I was driving home I called a close friend Tyler and he was the first person to hear the pain and strain in my voice. Although I tried to come off as un-effected he could hear the loss of emphasis behind each word I mumbled into the phone. Talking to everyone, even through text messages you could just feel the loss of life present in everyone.
But now it’s time to look up. I have matured in one day more than I have in the 17 years of my life combined. My attitude on everything…life, school, work, family, and of course friends. You can’t just tell someone you love them, weather it’s through a text message or just face to face conversation. Show them you love them, they’ll remember your touch over a simple “Talk to you later” or “I love you”.Handshakes, high fives, hugs… anything! You never know what can happen in a blink of an eye. I know for a face Carlee lived her life to the fullest striving to be unique and an open mind to anything and everything. This encounter has also made my faith stronger. It seriously leaves me without words seeing everyone come together and give support. The amount of love I have received through texts, phone calls, and Facebook messages just makes me feel like emotion, compassion and love still exists. Yeah, we could all cry for hours, days and even more over the loss of our friend, but for every time you cry, smile and think of how Carlee changed your life two times. I know with everything in me that she wants all of us to be happy. People I have never talked too messaging me saying how sorry they are for this, it really is crazy to me how when something like this happens everyone can come together. I won’t lie, it feels damn good knowing so many incredible people are around you. I have huge plans to help us cope with all of this, and hopefully make us stronger people. Window decals, t-shirts, and tons of other cool stuff that is going to be everyones input. If you have any ideas, small or huge, I want to make it happen. For us, and Carlee.Just shoot me a text, Facebook message, or call. As I am tying this my mind feels lighter. Coming to peace with this situation is going to be a long, and emotional process, but I know we have each others backs. So after reading this I want you to know that she is still with us. “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” She is still with us, yeah she isn’t walking around with that huge grin that we all know but she is with each of us, inside of us, in all of our hearts, and watching over top of us. Next time you’re with someone you love show them, like i mentioned earlier be remembered for your touch on everyone. Your spark of positivity and love will spread, and do great things none of us have the power of envisioning. I love all of you(: