Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 16, 1990

It was nearing the end of the day that Friday when I received her call at work. I picked up the phone and knew immediately who it was. “Hey! I have great news!” she said. It was my high school best friend and college roommate, Carey, and she had a real excitement in her voice. She started off by telling me that the financial decisions she made recently were finally squared away. She was beyond happy and it seemed as if a big weight had been lifted off her. I was very happy for her too.

After chatting about it a few minutes, she mentioned that she, our roommate, and a few other friends were heading to a neighboring college that evening to attend a party. Knowing it was my turn to make the trip to my boyfriend’s family’s home that weekend, she asked “Why not call Mark and tell him to come here instead? That way we can all go to the party together!” I must admit I seriously gave it some thought those few moments, but knew Mark and his parents were expecting me to arrive at their home within the next few hours. The change would have been very last minute and it probably wouldn’t have gone over well. “I wish I could, but I better just stick with going to his place.", I told her. "Don’t have too much fun without me though!”

After spending a whirlwind day and a half with Mark, I cozied up on his family's fold-out couch in the den. He went off to his bedroom to get some sleep. I was exhausted, but eager to spend Father's Day with him and his family the next day.

The sunlight peeked through the windows in the early morning hours, attempting to wake my body...but I would have nothing to do with it. I rolled away from the sheer-covered window to avoid having to actually get out of bed. In my haziness, I could hear someone in the adjoining family room mention the words "Carey" and "her car was so small"...I thought it was part of a dream I was having.

Mark opened the door to my room and I knew it must be time for my butt to finally wake up. I rolled back around to see that he was carrying a newspaper and had a look on his face I'd never seen before. "I don't know how to tell you this..." his voice cracked, as he handed me the paper. I looked at the front page and saw Carey's name immediately, even before reading the headline. "What?! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" I wailed. "That's not right! It can't be real!"

The headline read, Three Die in Wrong Way Accident .

I continued to read in confusion and disbelief to see that Carey, along with our good friend Jeff, and my roommate's boyfriend, Frank, had all been killed by a drunk driver in the early Saturday morning hours as they headed home from the party. Two others, my good friend Kathy and roommate Carm, were left in critical condition. The drunk driver had unknowingly entered an exit ramp of the highway and headed westbound into oncoming eastbound traffic. My friends were one of those heading east.

I found out later that day, I wasn't contacted sooner with the news because those that knew where I was that weekend, were all in the car.

It took nearly three years for me to be able to tell Carey's story, or to even bring up her name for that matter, without getting a huge lump in my throat - without having tears well up in my eyes. It was very similar to what I am feeling now as I write this. We were inseparable.

So to Carey, Jeff, and Frank - We recognize greatly twenty-one-years-old is way too young to be taken away from us.

Twenty years later you are all still loved and very missed.


  1. Such a sad story.Sorry for your loss.Thanks for sharing and keeping the memory alive for others.

  2. Oh my goodness, what a sad but sweet story about your friend. I can't imagine the pain of that. I met my best friend in 3rd grade and we are still best friends 37 years later. You honored her by letting us know about her 20 years later and that she and your other friends still hold a tight place in your heart. Take care.

  3. Oh Candy - words can't even express what I'm feeling right now. I am sorry that you lost so many of your friends so young - and so tragically. And I am so thankful that life and fate and God stepped in so that YOU were not in that car as well... he had and has big plans for you. What an honor that you keep their memory alive and thank you for sharing it.


  4. Such a sad ending to such young lives. I know it must be so hard for you. {hugs}

  5. Tears are sliding down my face as I read this. I understand a wee bit at least, your sorrow. I too lost my dearest best friend for 34 years.

    Life is never the same is it? Although, somehow, after time, joy reenters our lives and the hole in our heart somehow becomes surrounded by that joy. The hole is there. . . the loss is still very real. . . . but somehow there is joy, too.

    I don't understand why such things happen, but agree that your post is a very loving tribute to your dear friends.

    Cyber hugs,


  6. Sorry you lost your best friend Candy.You told the story very well.You wern't with them because God had other plans for you.God Bless

  7. What a huge tragedy - I am sorry for your loss - what a beautiful tribute.


  8. Such a sad story, can change in an instant, and it affects the lives of so many others. Thinking of you and their families and friends... XO

  9. Candy, I have multiple goose bumps. I as sooo
    sorry for your loss.
    Take Care

  10. Dearest Candy! At the end of the day, many times all we have are memories. You are a wonderful friend to not only remember your friends but also share your thoughts of them with us. Thank you for that!

    A big hug from me goes out to you today! Andrea

  11. Candy, thanks for sharing such a personal tragedy. A reminder of an ever existing danger. Hugs from Poetry. ~Mindy

  12. Candy,
    I know this had to be very difficult to write. Here's to the memories of your wonderful friends. Thanks for sharing their lives and story with us.

  13. Candy,

    Thank you for writing this. I loved her too.

  14. Hugs your way. The friendships, the memories, and unfortunately the loss, have all combined to make you the strong, truly wonderful person that you are today.


  15. Wow! Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. I know many of you know the gravity of such loss and I appreciate you taking the time to get me through the day. For some reason this anniversary year hit me like a ton of bricks, but I normally focus on all the happy memories. Thank you. Thank you. You are wonderful!

  16. Candy - What a tragedy, and so young too... Sharing their story is a special tribute to them, as well as to the caring person you are.

    Brenda was right - God had other plans for you...and I know I'm so happy to count you as one of my friends! :)

    Hugs to you! Kathy

  17. Unreal. I can't begin to tell you how sad I am for the loss of your friends. I can't even imagine a nightmare like that. Time does heal and thank goodness you have reached the point to be able to tell their story. You could have just made a difference in someone's life.

  18. what a sweet tribute to your beautiful friends. i had a friend die of leukemia when i was 6 years old. i've never forgotten her. i could drive straight to her house right now and i could, in detail, describe what she looked like...43 years later. i don't think loss is something we ever overcome but i do believe that *time* is the gift God gave us to heal the heart.


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