Sheryl (age 14)
I want to tell you that one of the worst days of your life is coming and there is no way for you to prepare for it. You are going to feel like the world has quit spinning. The pain you will feel will bring you to your knees. I wish I could just wrap you in my arms and keep you from finding out how unfair life can be. I want you to know that you will survive, you will be stronger because of this life changing event. You will find a strength you never knew you had. I wish you never had to know what it is like to grow up without your Mom or Dad. I wish that I could tell you that it will get easier . It doesn't! Time doesn't heal the pain it only dims the few memories you have. While you will find out that just when you think you have your grief under control something will happen to make you miss Mom and Dad all over again. Your graduation, not having Dad there to walk you down the aisle when you got married, missing Mom with your whole being when your babies are born. You will ache with every fiber of your being and need to talk to Mom and can't or need to be wrapped safe in Dad's arms. I promise you though that you will learn that it is OKAY to CRY. It is not a weakness, but a release. It will allow you to continue on. It will help you to heal, not miss them less but to cherish those few memories that you do have. I promise you that no 14 year old should ever have to deal with the shock of losing her parents in a split second. You will overcome so many more things over the next 22 years, that you will be able to look back on January 8th, 1988 and know that you will survive anything and be able to face it head on. You will grow to be strong, courageous and loving. You will become a woman that Mom and Dad would have been proud of. You will have a confidence in yourself and your abilities that will allow you to tackle life head on, with a smile on your face and an attitude of "come on world is this the best you can do?". You will have a take me as I am personality. Your true friends will accept and love this in you and those who don't aren't worth it. You will find a man who will cherish yo and love you for who you are. You will be a terrific MOM!! You will be a mom to 4 beautiful children. You will come to understand how young Mom and Dad really were when they died. You wont' waste a day of the next 22 years wishing you had done this of hadn't done that. You live your life to make yourself happy and your family feel loved. You have o regrets. At age 36, while you wish you could talk to Mom and Dad just one more time you know you wouldn't be the person you are today if their plane hadn't crashed that fateful day.
Sheryl (age 36)