Her name was Charlotte. But they called her 'Charly'.
I didn't know her well. But I certainly knew her. I last saw her at a birthday party maybe less than two weeks ago? And now she's gone after a tragic accident.
And I'm sad. Like really sad.
She's the niece of one of my besties (Love you KJ). For someone over 40 years old that sounds ridiculous to say. But there's the connection.
I have been staring at her beautiful little face for the past three days. I was tasked with putting together a video slideshow for the services. So I've literally been staring at her face.
Our community has rallied together to show support for the family. Our neighbors and friends have been tying pink ribbons around trees and fenceposts. I can't even tell you how many hours Lynn has personally been out tying ribbons. Someone made pink ribbon vinyl decals and I spent a bunch of time last night applying them to the family's vehicles. I think I did 10 cars. I'm sure I'll do more at the church today.
When I agreed to do the video I wasn't sure if I was good enough. I'm certainly not a pro. I'm just a guy with a laptop and iMovie. Not to pat myself on the back, but the video turned out amazing. Someday I hope they let me post it. I can't even tell you how many times I sat at my desk and cried while I made it... And it's really only for one reason...
She was so loved.
That family loved that little girl so much.
Her two sisters, her parents, grandparents, her aunts, uncles, cousins, they loved this girl. Their friends as well... When the family asked for pictures to be emailed and texted to me in preparation of the video I was overwhelmed with the amount that came across my desk.
I literally received hundreds of photos. I had 8 minutes to work with. If I had used every picture and video that was sent to me the video would have been nearly 30 minutes long. It wasn't easy to edit them down.
Charly girl, I want you to know this: We won't forget you. I already have some ideas on how to make sure this doesn't happen to anymore kids like you. I promise you I will fight, I will engineer, I will work like hell to make sure you did not die in vain. I don't want any other family to go through what your family and friends are going through. Rest in peace sweet princess...
One of my favorite bands played Phoenix last night. I didn't go (we did talk about getting tickets) but the timing of their show is a little bit of kismet. This song has been playing in my head all week before I ever even remembered that they were coming to town. The services start soon, I have to get ready... I doubt my suit coat jacket has enough pockets for all the Kleenex I'm going to need... Wish me luck.