When I found out Brittany Raymond Arnold passed away in a car accident, I was in complete shock. She was only 25 years old. She was a mother of two children. She was attending school at IPFW. She was a beautiful daughter, happy sister, loving best friend, and a true inspiration for how to live your life: inspire others, reach for the stars, love your family and friends unconditionally, and never stop smiling =)
But I still had a thousand emotions and questions running through my mind....
What about her kids who will grow up without their mother?
How is her ex-husband, who also lost his grandma the same week, coping with everything?
How are her parents, who lost their youngest daughter wayyyy too early in life, handling this unexpected situation?
And her sisters- who are also like best friends- what sea of emotions are they experiencing?
And her best friends- who are like sisters- how are they holding up?
I knew Britt through the pool house gang and playing softball. I also remember her big smile and loud laugh- yes someone put me up for a challenge with their laugh. And when I saw her out last at the bars, she still had that same bright smile and contagious laugh. I just wish I could go back to that night. Take a picture. Talk more about her life, her dreams, and her hopes for her children's future...
I was nervous about going to her funeral, mainly because I haven't seen her in awhile. But I'm really glad I went. I got to pay respect to her family, share some tears with a group of people who loved Brittany with all their heart, and even laugh at funny memories her friends shared during the service. And I was completely inspired by their strength and courage to speak in front of a room full of people, who were starring back at them with teary eyes.
And my dear friend Kristin Matthews made everyone laugh- which does so well- and then cry. She recently got engaged and asked Brittany to be her maid of honor. And we are now on the hunt for a great bargain on finding a life-size cut out of Brittany. As she will still be her maid of honor. She will still walk down the isle. And she still forever live through Kristin, and all of us.
When her sister got up to speak, she grabbed something that was in Brittany's room. It was an 8 x 10 picture frame with "1 Corinthians 13" passage, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." Her sister spoke about how this described Brittany perfectly - how she had so much love for her children, family, friends, and life.
The crazy thing is as I was driving home this morning, I thought of the same passage when I was thinking about Brittany. I even posted a Facebook status that said, "Above all is love!"
Ever since this happened I've been thinking of ways I could help out her family and friends during this tough time. I'm going to donate to Kianna's and Korbin's education fund. But I knew there was more I can do to help remember Brittany and help her family. So I talked to some of her friends and parents about this and I'm really excited. Brittany LOVED playing softball, so I thought it would be a great idea to celebrate her life and give to her children if we had a weekend summer softball tournament next summer. If you are interested in helping or playing in the tournament, please send me a message or call me! More details will come once I talk with her family and friends to organize a date, theme, etc.
I hope that in one way or another, you learn something from Brittany's life. I hope you cherish all the time you have- as it can be taken from you during a single second. I hope that you give your children, sisters, friends and lovers a goodbye kisses every single time you leave them. I hope you smile at complete strangers.
Love is contagious, powerful, hopeful, faithful, and forgivable. That's why it's the greatest of all =) Forever in our hearts and always reminding us to express our love, rest in peace Brittany Raymond Arnold. May you rest high above the skys....