Touched By an Angel (464)
“I don’t want to die”, Veronica proclaimed as we sat in math supposedly working on a class exercise. She continued, “Life is precious”. I replied thoughtlessly, “Yes, it is”. Then, inconspicuously we changed the subject to our weekend plans. That day, the customary routine played over as it did every other day with Veronica and I waving good bye and saying, “See you tomorrow” at the foot of the flagpole. But tomorrow never came for Veronica. On February 28th, 2001, my best friend, Veronica Romero died in a tragic house fire. Even though many people perceive death as simply an end to a chapter in one’s life; it began a new section in mine by giving me a chance to change my views and perception.
At eleven years old, I had lost my best friend. I did not know how to cope with the sudden change of events. To see someone one day and to lose them the next was unimaginable to me. I began noticing a change in my relationship with my friends. Before Veronica’s death, my friends were simply acquaintances at school with whom I shared my thoughts and emotions. When I was finally forced to accept Veronica’s passing, I began to take friendship and its meaning seriously. Students that had once bullied Veronica day in and day out were now the first to send their condolences to her family. The friends that were presumably the closest to her weren’t present at her funeral. This realization helped me to differentiate my friends from my acquaintances. I saw this distinction for the first time in my life.
The changes in my relationships through this experience continue to influence me today. Before, I had seen my future as a distant illusion. I thought things would simply align themselves in order and I would just go along for the ride. I had always been an ‘A’ student at school simply to avoid confrontation with...