Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Remembering a Friend

It was 30 years ago today that I received a call from a high school friend, telling me that another member of our high school group, Gerrianne Miller, had been killed in a plane crash in Wichita Falls, TX.
Gerrianne was a beautiful girl, one of the "Air Force brats" who came to town every few years when a parent's transfer orders came through.  She was tall, blonde, smart, funny, lovely, graceful, and there was something about her that made you fall instantly in love with her.  Popularity came easily to her, and yet she was always friendly to everyone, including the kids who weren't part of our little group.
When Gerrianne was killed, she was on her way back to Kansas City from Wichita Falls to visit her mother.  Her father had died June 21, less than two weeks earlier.  What crushing sadness her mother must have felt to lose both a husband and a daughter within a two week period.
I carry Gerrianne's junior year high school picture in my wallet, as a reminder that life is short.  On the back of the photo she wrote:  "Karen, You're one of the sweetest persons I know.  Stay the way you are, cute, and fun to be around.  Good luck with everything and remember all the fun we've had on the pep club bus and everywhere else.  '75.  Love, Gerrianne."

Gerrianne's photo has been in my wallet for many years now, visiting places she never got the chance to see.  She was a special person who never got the chance to make her mark on the world.  She did, however, leave a positive mark on those of us who were fortunate enough to have known her all those years ago.  

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