By Kira Sherwood
In 1997, Brittany joined the PMYSL soccer league. It was there that she met her friends who changed her life. "We were bonded instantly and forever. We spent many hours together laughing, playing soccer, learning, winning, and losing. All of this as a team. All of this as friends. We stayed on the same team for almost 10 years together. Those days are over,” Brittany said.
Four years of high school brought a lot of changes into their lives. Different paths led them to different friends with different interests. “Even though we don't always see each other, we know there will always be a bond that no one will ever understand nor can we explain,” she added.
Fast forward to February 23, 2011. Brittany is awakened by her mother with tears running down her face.
"There's been an accident." My heart raced as she continued.
"Is she all right?” I cried, worried about her friend Kelly.
"She is in a coma and on life support. She wasn't wearing her seat belt."
Brittany’s thoughts that day were how could this be happening? We're supposed to celebrate our 18th birthday together. We're supposed to graduate together.
She immediately went to the hospital. “I was scared. I tried to prepare myself for what she would look like. I didn't do a very good job. It was devastating. I worked up the courage to talk to her so she could hear my voice. She couldn't talk back,” said Brittany.
A week later, Brittany went to see Kelly again. This time, she was out of a coma and breathing on her own. She smiled when Brittany came into the room. Brittany told her stories about when they were younger. Brittany talked. Kelly listened.
It's been a little over two weeks since "the accident." It's amazing. Kelly can speak and walk. When Brittany walked into the room, Kelly was telling her mother that she wished she had a bracelet to wear. All of her bracelets were cut off of her when she was in the accident. Brittany pulled out the brand new friendship bracelet that I had brought with me that night to give to her without even knowing she wanted one. That's the kind of bond they have. Unexplainable.
This experience has changed Brittany’s life. “As teenagers, we think we are indestructible. We think bad things can't happen to us. We think we know everything. Here's what I know. We are wrong. Life brings experiences.” These experiences teach us lessons.
February 23, 2011. “A lesson I will never forget,” said Brittany.
Kira Sherwood is a freshman at St. Thomas Aquinas College majoring in Communication Arts.