Can you single out just one day from your past that you can honestly say changed your life forever? I know I can. It was a typical January day, with one exception; it was the day the Pope came to St. Louis. My brother and I had tickets to the youth rally, and we were both very excited. It was destined to be an awesome day- or so we thought. The glory and euphoria of the Papal visit quickly faded into a time of incredible pain and sorrow, a time from which I am still emerging.
That day. The date was Tuesday, January 26, 1999, and the entire city of St. Louis was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Pope. The day started with a bus ride to Lacledeís Landing where thousands of high school students joined together and marched to the Kiel Center where the Papal Youth rally was being held. When the Pope finally arrived at around 7:30 PM, it was absolutely breathtaking. The Holy Fatherís words covered everything from baseball, and Mark McGwire, to teen suicide. Even though I did not realize it at that moment, his words were about to become a huge part of my life.
By the time I got home, my brother had already arrived and was enthusiastically recounting the dayís events to my mom, who had obviously been crying. When he finally stopped carrying on, my mom told me to sit down and then she told me. I will never forget her exact words or even the way she said them. ďMegan committed suicide today.Ē I stared blankly at her, I knew she had to be lying, she had to be wrong, Megan would never do that. We had been too good of friends for too long, I knew her too well. Megan was always happy, she always had a joke to tell. She had such a bright future, she was an excellent athlete and it seemed as though she succeeded in everything she tried.
We played Volleyball together, we were co-captains of the soccer team and we even managed the wrestling team together. I never imagined the word suicide could even be a part of her vocabulary. That is why I knew there had to be some mistake, my mom had to be wrong. My mom then went on to tell me the details of what happened, but it did not matter, I did not hear her. Even though I was exhausted after a long day, my mom drove me to my friendís house. I still had not cried, we just sat in the car in silence. I knew there had to be a mistake. However, as soon as I saw the tear stained face of my friend, I knew everything was true. That is when the tears came, and Iím not quite sure when they stopped. They lasted for hours on end.
The days that followed that day are still a little blurry. I did not go to school; but then again most people did not. Most of Meganís friends got together to make a cross and collages of pictures; however, I could not bring myself to get off the couch. Everyone was nice enough to include me in everything. They put my name on the cross and put tons of pictures of Megan and me in the collages. My phone rang off the hook with people checking to make sure I was OK. Our old soccer coach even flew in from Georgia to help us deal with everything. As the funeral neared, I was suffering from many mixed emotions. I could not figure out whether to be upset or angry, or what to feel at all. Not only did I have to deal with the loss of a friend, but also I had to deal with the fact that she did it herself. Then came the subject of her parents. I wanted to blame everything on them. It made everything so easy; who else could be blamed? Maybe if they had cared just a little bit more, this all could have been prevented. I just did not know what to think. Then came the funeral.
The day of the wake, I was totally convinced that I did not