On February 1st, 2015 it will be one year since we lost our precious Michelle. It's so hard to believe that a year has elapsed. Time has no rules when it comes to the loss of a loved one. Let me tell you a brief story...
Isn’t it interesting how we tend to define things in a linear fashion? We feel uneasy if we can’t find the beginning and the end of things. Let’s take life, for example.
We generally define the beginning of a person’s life as their birthday. Similarly, we usually consider the day they die as the end of their life. I would suggest that we could expand this definition a bit. Let me beg your indulgence as I use Michelle to illustrate my point.
When we visit Michelle’s gravesite we see two dates on her headstone... August 6, 1983 – February 1, 2014. An illustration of a linear life; a beginning and an end. I would offer that her life began so much earlier than the day she was born. Her life began in the hopes and dreams of a young couple married at the age of 20. Heck, let’s step back even further. Michelle’s life began in musings and desires of both sets of her grandparents long before the announcement was made that she was on the way. I believe Michelle’s life began long before that date chiseled in that stone. And how about that other chiseled date, February 1, 2014. Did that mark the end of Michelle’s life? Not even close. You see, her biological life may have ended that day but she continues to live on in the memories and deeds of the thousands who knew her or were touched by her story. A life like Michelle’s doesn’t just end.
Now it gets scary. I’m going to ask you to expand your definition of a life. We’re going to dip back into our junior high and high school days. Hang in there,stay with me. It’ll only be for a short time.
I’m going to borrow from trigonometry for our expanded definition. Rather than define a life linearly I’d like to add a few more dimensions. Let’s conjure up that long-forgotten definition for volume. Remember it? Length x width x height? Ringing a bell? Let’s change up the terms a little. Instead of width let’s use breadth. Instead of height let’s flip it around and use depth. Length? I like length. Let’s just keep that one. So now we can define a person’s life in three dimensions.
We’ve touched on length. Michelle’s biologic length was all too short. A mere 30 years. Okay, 30.75 years if we include the time from conception as many are wont to do. I won’t argue either way. To each their own. She should have had three-fold more time. Unfortunately, the length of time we have on this earth is out of our control.
How about breadth? How wide was her life? She touched so many people both during her life and after she died. Whether it be in school growing up, in college, in PA school or while working as a PA she made it her mission to help those in need. To be a true friend. To not pass judgment. To leave this world a better place than when she came into it. Was she successful? You know it.
How about depth? I would define the depth of one’s life as the how hard you tried at every endeavor. Were you more than just a superficial friend. Did you truly care? Did you go out of your way to help someone? Did you live your life’s moments to the fullest? Again, yes, yes,yes, and yes for Michelle. She left a legacy most desirous.
A long life? No… A voluminous life? Most certainly. This was written on the one year “anniversary” of Michelle’s accident. She fought hard and she fought long but avoiding the carving of that second date on her headstone wasn’t to be. Yet she lived a voluminous life.
How about you? Are you living a voluminous life? I hope so. Don’t just live long. Live wide. Live deep.
We love you Michelle. We will be with you again... of that, we’re certain. Until then, we will try to live a voluminous life.
So, why did we ask you to come here? Why are we asking you for donations? To honor Michelle's life and her memory .. as well as to continue her good works, her family and friends have set up two memorial funds.
The first is a yearly scholarship awarded to a needy student attending the Red Rocks Community College Physician Assistant Program. Michelle graduated from this program and we can't think of a better way for Michelle to be able to continue to contribute to her chosen field than to help others to do the same.
The second fund is to benefit the Foothills Animal Shelter. Michelle loved animals and wanted to be a veterinarian growing up. Michelle had many pets growing up; Smokie was our first cat, Sammie was our second cat, Gabby was our first dog, Jinx is Michelle's first cat, Charles is our third cat, Sophie was Michelle's first dog and Sadie is our second dog. I won't even mention the plethora of rodents, amphibians, insects and fish that have graced our doorstep.
Michelle never got to be a veterinarian. She did get to take care of a single class of animals, humans, in her role as a Physician Assistant. She loved it. And she was good at it. Michelle often wanted to volunteer at an animal shelter but never had the time. She would have been great with the animals.
All of the donations collected here at GoFundMe will be directed to these two memorial funds in Michelle's honor.
Whether it be $1, $5, $10, $100 or $1000, every donation is sincerely appreciated. Please help Michelle's family and friends to keep her memory alive and to allow Michelle to keep on giving.
Thank you for considering...
Ron, Karen, Alyssa, Ryan and the multitude of Michelle's family and friends that miss her every day.
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