November 29, 2008

Remembering a Friend...

It's been a long week. I hosted Thanksgiving dinner, so between working and cleaning and cooking, I haven't had ANY stamp time...BLECH.

BUT -- I went to an awards dinner tonight, to remember a friend. As most of you know, I'm involved in Fife and Drum, what's that you say?? check HERE. I used to belong to a junior corps, called The Young Colonials. This is actually how I met my hubby. He wasn't in the corps at the time, but his younger brother was, and his sisters taught the fife line, and his 2 older brothers taught the drum line...

On May 31, 1995, something pretty terrible happened. I was home sick from school (I was a Sr. in HS at the time) I got a call from a friend of mine from a payphone (back in the day of *GASP* no cell phones! *sigh*) who had said that one of our classmates Chris, had been in an accident, and that his sister was in the car with him and she stomach dropped. Chris has 2 sisters...Angela, and Michelle...which one was it??? No one knew. I called my Mom (she's a nurse, and works at the local hospital) She answered the phone, and I said "Do you know??" She said "Yes, it was Angela." I still remember that moment like it was yesterday. She was 12. 12. Now being a mom, even moreso I can't even BEGIN to think about how short her life really was. It also gave me a good dose of 'I'm not invincible' reality too.

Angela was an incredible fifer for her young years, and though she was small, and had to hold her fingers a certain way to make sure she covered the holes all the way, she ROCKED the fife. She taught me a thing or two, that's for sure! She always did what was right by the corps, and was the fife sargeant as well...for a little girl, she knew how to command attention!
So, on a weekend where we should have been celebrating our last few weeks as Seniors in HS, Chris (Angela's brother) was in the hospital, and we (my hubby and friends and I) were at Angela's funeral...NEVER will I forget that.

Each year, The Young Colonials hold an awards dinner, where they give out medals to the members of the corps for parades they've won, and they have some perpetual awards that are given out each year as well. One for an outstanding member of the Colorguard, one for an outstanding member of the fife line, and one for an outstanding member of the drum line. That year, they added a fourth award. The Angela Simmons Award, to be given to a member of the corps, that exemplified all of Angela's qualities as a corps member. The recipient would be a member of the corps that demonstrates leadership, encourages their fellow corps members not only to practice, but to just be together and have fun, to have good parade and practice attendance, and to be an example to the younger members of the corps (or even perhaps the older ones!! *wink* ) I was honored to have been given this award the second year.

Well, after 12 years, the plaque is full, and the corps has decided to reitre it, and give the plaque to Angela's family. So tonight, all past recipients were invited to attend the dinner, so that we could all pose for a photo with the plaque to be presented to the family with the plaque.

I still see Angela's Dad now and then, and I'm still friends with her sister Michelle...and always give Chris a hug when I see him...I think a lot about what could have or would have been if Angela were here today...though I know she is in a far far better place, but man, how sweet it would be if she were still here...we miss you Angela!!

Thanks for stopping by!!


Sue said...

Great, now I'm all teary eyed. We all miss her, but is nice to be apart of this special award. We will always remember you Angela!!!

Renee V. said...

What a touching post, Tracey - made me all misty.
I like the plaque tradition that you all had started years ago and I think it's sweet of you to give it to the family now.
Hugs to you,

Holly said...

oh how sad. I can't imagine the pain the family feels when they lose a child. I'm sure they will treasure this plaque.