Monday, November 3, 2014

Rest in Peace, Mike Vaughn

photo from my recent trip to NY
You can't separate the seconds of your life. The seconds that turn your world from upright to turmoil.

Even in our darkest days, we can't say we are "weathering a storm" because even the greatest of storms come with signs: rolling clouds, change in temperature, violent winds.

The mere seconds that change your life are the swelling of a tide. You have no idea the power and force of a crashing wave, until you are underneath it.


My friend, Maddy, called me last night to tell me her boyfriend's brother, who was only 16, passed away in a longboarding accident.

Chills covered my body, as I tried to comprehend the terrible loss.

Mike Vaughn was a friend, leader, son, brother, twin.

I immediately called my sister, just to hear her voice. To pretend I wasn't scared or troubled by this.
To say I love you. To wear out the words.

I didn't know Mike, and I didn't have to.

If he was half the man the people around me described him as, he would have been nothing short of incredible.

I constantly heard how smart he was, kind, generous, funny, determined.

Maddy would talk to me about the great things he would do with his future.

I would hear the kindest words leave people's mouth as they mentioned him.

And last night, I thought about how he would no longer be with us.

I thought about how, seconds before I got the phone call, I was babysitting, eating dinner. There was no sign of tragedy nearby.

Mike hit a rock while long-boarding, and succumbed to a serious head injury.

Life is never going to be exactly how we plan it. And there are times that are going to shatter us, and leave us broken on the shore.

It's not practical to say, "drop everything" or act like every single moment is a ticking time bomb. Living in fear is not living at all. There is going to be painful reminders, and there will come a time that school, work, and other responsibilities get in the way again.

So, we have to fully appreciate each moment as we are in it. We have to appreciate the people who stand before us. Close our eyes and soak in all the good. Allow ourselves to really feel, whether we are happy and joyful or broken and lost.

We have to make our words more truthful, and our actions worth the effort.

We have to believe in the goodness of tomorrows, even if they aren't certain.

Today, and everyday, we have to honor those who don't have the chance to do all these things anymore. Today and everyday after, we honor Mike Vaughn.

Hug those around you extra tight, and wear out your "I love you's." Keep your promises and stop saying things you don't mean.

Live a deliberate life, love with a fearless heart, face each and every moment with a brave and true spirit.

Vaughn family, please know that prayers are being said endlessly. Know that you are supported by an army of people who adore you. Know that you are so loved.

If you would like to donate to help the Vaughn family cover the memorial costs, the link is below:

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