This morning was a hard morning- just as every October 6th has been for the last 15 years. I woke up with a heavy heart. As I walked to my mom's house for a cup of coffee I wondered, as I so often do, what my world might look like now if the cars had come to a stop at that intersection in Forest Grove that fateful Tuesday morning. What would Kayci and Nick be doing with thier lives? How would my life be different if they had survived.
I had intended to walk back home, but my mom ended up driving me back to my house. And as we pulled in the driveway she pointed to the roofline of my house. "It's a sign." There perched at the top sat a single white dove, as though to greet me as I arrived at my house.
October 6th 1998 was an ordinary day until about 2:00pm in the afternoon when I drove to my high school after having been in downtown Portland taking classes for the day.
I remember driving my little red GTI onto the school grounds, and noting that my best friend's car was not parked in her usual spot...the little 1971 yellow BMW that she had named Mr. Bumble.
I remember driving past the main parking lot and thinking it was really strange that so many people were out on the track surrounding the soccer field. There was no way this many students were in PE. And school was almost out, what on earth was going on.
I remember the face of my PE/ Health teacher as she saw me walk towards her on the field. I remember the ghostly face of my friend John as he stood beside her, unable to say a word to me.
I don't remember much between that and finding myself in the school lobby. I don't remember how I got there, I don't remember the words that were said. I think I was told "there was an accident." I don't remember actually hearing the words. I remember seeing Kayci's sister, I remember my classmate Alex walking us to the auditorium. I remember finding myself in Kayci's parents' living room, 45 minutes outside of town. But I don't have any memory of getting there.
I often think back to that Tuesday. and every October 6th sneaks up on me and it's still hard to believe that was so long ago. How is it possible that 16 years have passed? How is it possible that I've lived as long without her in this world than with her.
Just as I caught site of the dove on the roof, six more doves started to circle my house. They flew right above me, and continued making formations directly over my head.
I did a little research today on the symbolism of doves. I've found a few things... "a single white dove symbolizes the holy spirit, followed by a flock symbolizing eternal love from family and friends." I also found that a single white dove represents the "peaceful release and onward journey of the spirit of the deceased."
I found organizations that provide white doves for funerals and memorials- that the releasing of a white dove helps to begin the grieving process by opening the doors to "let go."
I stood in my driveway for quite a while this morning. I first thought it was perhaps a fluke. But the one stayed perched and watched me, as the others flew circle after circle over my house. I do believe that its a sign. She is still a part of my life, she is still watching out for me. She always will be. I found a beautiful poem by Julie Johnson online, and it seemed to state the very message I think Kayci would have wanted conveyed.
You are remembered. You are loved. You will always be with me.