I had so many different emotions as we moved Ana into her dorm. I felt excitement, anticipation, fear, pride. I was so proud of Ana for becoming the young woman that I had raised. She was ready for this moment, this life experience. I just knew she would do well. She would make lifelong friends and memories.
I wanted her to experience campus life. Even though we were only 45 minutes away, I wanted her to stay on campus during the weekends so that she could become a part of that community. It was hard, but I felt that it was best. I tried to give her space, but what I really wanted was to be a college chic all over again! I knew that wouldn’t go over well.
We spoke often and sent texts keeping each other informed of life’s daily happenings. Occasionally, she would come home and spend the night. I loved those times.
I will never forget the day Ana called me and I could barely understand her words through her sobbing.”What?”
She said it again, “Ariane died….”
Did I hear that right? “What?! When? What happened?”
My thoughts were reeling…this can’t be…we just saw her a couple of days ago when we dropped Ana off after a nice meal. We walked her to her room and Ariane was sitting on her bed studying. She stopped long enough to acknowledge us with her beautiful smile. She was her usual friendly self. She seemed fine.
I asked her again. I asked all the same questions over again thinking the answers would be different. It didn’t make sense.
“What can I do? Do you need me to come? How can I help?” I felt so helpless. I thought she needed me. I could have been there for her, but she was surrounded with people who loved her and who loved Arianne. They would support her.
I was glad that she came home that night to spend the night with us. I just hugged her and didn’t want to let go.
As hard as this year has been for Ana, I think it’s made her a stronger, wiser person. She sees life in a “real” way and knows life is short. I can’t protect her from that as hard as it is to see her hurting. She has become that loving, mature, God-strong woman independent , self-reliant, Christian young woman that I always hoped and prayed she’d become."
Anastasia shared the personal struggle she went through in dealing with the loss of her very close friend unexpectedly. Thank goodness she was surrounded by loving friends and family. I never met Ariane but know that she was an amazing and inspiring person, well loved by those around her. I pray for her family in what must still be so hard.
I thank Lucy and Anastasia both for sharing their story. Ana described how through hard times, good can still come. How people live without faith in God is beyond me. I know that there's nothing else that can hold us together during times as hard as the ones that Anastasia described. But He is there even then. And I know He is with Ariane's family.
We have the hope that even our eternal life is secure. Ariane just changed where she lives.