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A Change in Plans

The only thing to say is that God has a plan for each and every one of us, and that there are parts of that plan we cannot control.

The longest I have ever lived in one place was 11 years, in South Florida from kindergarten to ninth grade. We lived in one of those classic 90's American neighborhoods where everyone rode bikes together, played kickball in the street, swam in each others pools, ate fruit off of everyone else's trees, and shared homes like they were toys. Most summer days were spent with half the neighborhood doing some sort of activity. "Can the kids come out and play?" was a common question. The little girl next door used to walk in and say, "Honey, I'm home."

She was seven years old then and I was fourteen - but I was her best friend (and babysitter). I'd known her since before she was born - I can clearly remember the stork in the lawn for two weeks after her birth. And the night we moved out of that house, she was the last person I hugged. I think I'll always remember her that way. It is the only way I can.

Both she and her parents died in a plane crash Christmas night. The weather near Atlanta, Georgia was just too awful, and even though her father was a flight instructor, there was nothing he could do after the Cessna hit that asphalt conveyor hidden by the fog. The only blessing in this is that her brother had decided to fly himself separately and wasn't on the plane. I bet he doesn't really feel like that was a blessing right now.

Everyone seems to be missing something different - and none of us seems to have had the idea really sink in yet. All I keep seeing is her round face and the dance costumes she wore. Or the time I helped teach her to swim. Sixteen years old. I'll never really be able to fathom how someone that young just isn't alive anymore. It doesn't seem real.

I changed my plans and I'll be staying with my parents a while longer before we go to Florida for the services. This was the first Christmas in five years my whole family was together. Blessing number two might be that we are going to get to spend more time together and see some people we haven't seen in years. I wish it were under better circumstances.

I guess the only thing to do is make the best of it; to know that God's plan is the right one, and that he knows what he's doing. If I didn't believe that, I'd hate Him something fierce for taking Sammy away. Sixteen years old. A brilliant, beautiful, and talented girl. Please pray for her and her family.

I hope when she gets to heaven she just walks right up to St. Peter and says, "Honey, I'm home." And everyone there would laugh like we used to, because you couldn't stay straight-faced for long when such a vibrant personality was around. I guess today she is surrounded by angels - I bet you'd have trouble telling the difference between them and her.

Love always, ~Heather