In my 31 years, I had not expected to get so involved in a friend's death but felt the need to do something MORE than just cry and read details of how it all went down. I was highly motivated by anger and faith that there had to be a reason that all this was happening. Was it so that I can reconnect with my fellow classmates where I met Jayna (Semester at Sea)? (grateful for getting back in touch with a handful of friends) Or, maybe see how I can utilize my resources to commemorate her beautiful life? (held a candle vigil in her honor, help with the foundation, run a 5K) Maybe it's so I can revisit my love of writing and contribute to the world in that way? (picking up writing again) Maybe connect deeper with God? (my faith has grown even more) SO many things ran through my brain in the following week after my friend Leah broke the news. A lot of AMAZING things have happened since March 11th, 2011. My love for travel, which I shared with Jayna, suddenly flared and my desire to leave the US became an obsession. I had no idea that I would meet someone that would challenge that obsession but I am grateful that he collided with my first one. I have picked up writing again, something that I had put on the shelf for a year; These are just a few of what has transpired over the course of 10 months.
The impact of Jayna's death made me anxious about growing up and achieving my dreams. Her St. Vincent Millay quote in my book still reverberates in my head. "The world stands out on either side no wider than the heart is wide; above the world is stretched the sky-no higher than the soul is high. The heart can push the SEA and LAND farther away on either hand; The soul can split the sky in two, and let the face of God shine through." -Edna St. Vincent Millay
I am not sure what the next day, month, or even year will hold but I owe a lot of my motivation to Jayna. Of all the things that have come out of this experience, I am proud to sit on the board of the Jayna Troxel Foundation and will spend the rest of my life with the motto," What Would Jayna Do?" She brought her exuberance into numerous lives in her studies, work and travels and I am proud to call her my friend. May you rest in peace my dear friend. <3
For the Washington Post article on the sentencing of Brittany Norwood, click below.
Life -Sentence Without Parole