20 Years…

Twenty years ago today my life and the lives of many of my friends changed forever. I am not able to describe what others were feeling or went through but I can share what I was feeling and what I went through. I’ve tried time and again to write out what happened but have felt that my words would not be adequate enough. I still don’t know if they are adequate but I needed to write this.

April 8, 1993 started out like any other day. I was on Spring break so I am sure I slept in and then just bummed around the house. (Some memories of this time are a bit fuzzy.) It was fairly early in the morning when my sister answered a phone call from one of her friends letting her know that one of my friends, Shantel, had passed away. When she told me, I blew her off and said that’s not true. I thought that her friends were playing a joke and didn’t know what they were talking about. I had no idea it was not a joke until much later in the day.

My parents both got home from work when my dad received a phone call from one of the pastors on staff at our church. Shantel had indeed passed away earlier in the day and Jennifer her best friend was there when it happened. I kept thinking over and over that this can not be true. We just saw each other the night before at youth group. My dad ended the phone call and both my parents told me about the events of the day. I’m sure I cried and hugged them (I honestly can not remember) and then I went into the bathroom where I stayed for as long as possible alone, in shock. Some of our friends were in NY on a missions trip. Did they know? How are they handeling this? I would find out later that they were called and did know and were just as upset and in shock as I was.

My memories of the funeral and grave side service are very few and far between. I know that Michael W Smith’s song “Friends” was played and it took me years to listen to it without crying. My youth pastor, Daryl, spoke and I sat there numb. There are some days it seems like it happened yesterday and then other days it feels like a life time ago. I never thought my sophomore year in high school would be marked with tragedy. I am sure no one ever thinks that.

Life has moved on for everyone that was affected by the loss of Shantel. This year I needed to take some time and do my best to remember. To remember that Shantel’s life may have been cut short but I know without a doubt she loved the Lord and one day, we will all see her again.

If you knew Shantel I would love for you to share your memories about that time or any other time that you got to share with her.


6 thoughts on “20 Years…

  1. I remember that day in New York. We were in the meeting room, waiting for Pastor Daryl to start. I remember noticing that Cheryl was not there. Daryl had the grave expression on his face and told us that Shantel died. I just sat there in shock and asked interpreter to say it again. I looked around and they were in shock, some cried, and some comforting others. I was still so stunned that a friend, my age, had died. We prayed right away and helped each other thru the week doing God s work. I can’t remember if I went to the funeral, but I remember feeling numb and wanting to flee from the funeral. I guess I didn’t want to face the reality.

  2. I remember this day all to well I was at home because l had got sick and could not go on the mission trip to New York. My mom came in the room and l knew something was really wrong because she had been crying and she told me that Shantel my very good friend had passed away. And l will never forget how l felt at that moment it was like a part of me went numb and l got sick and cryed so much!!! I went and stayed with Jennifer as soon as l could get there. We all got pictures together to do a slide show in her memory at Church I will always remember Shantel’s smile and the way she loved to have fun she loved the lord and was always at every Youth event we had. I remember us having a blast at Youth camp me her and Jennifer got in trouble for toilet paper rolling a cabin. Shantel was a strong young girl she had been through a lot growing up she was a true gift from God and if you knew her and was her friend you were the one blessed beyond messure. I love her so much and l still carry a picture of her, me and Jennifer in my bible today. The funeral was one on the hardest things to get through. l was late getting to the grave site and l was so scared to go because l guess l knew l had to really face the fact that she was gone. But when I got there Jennifer was in the car getting ready to leave and she called me over and handed me a picture that she had found of me and Shantel it was beautiful and really meant a lot to me. I guess you could say it gave me some peace that everything was going to be okay. I know we will all get to see you again Shantel but l just want to thank you for being my friend and always being there you are always in my heart and never forgotten!!! The times at Church and all our Youth events were some of the best times and memories of my life and l am so thankful that l could share them with Shantel and all of you!!!!

    • Nadia~ Thank you for sharing your memories. There is so much I don’t remember and I love that you shared what you remember. I also love to know that Shantel is not forgotten by any of us! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s