There are some people you meet in life that have so MUCH life, you think they could never die. People who change the way you think about others, who have a true impact on your character. Who you miss not being around. Carly Phillips had more joy than anyone I’ve ever met. She was a kind of magnet that people orbited around. She was nice to absolutely everyone. She had a wicked sense of humor and a fearlessness to be herself that I envied. You just wanted whatever it was that she had that made her so happy.

I met Carly in elementary school. I still remember the big “Blossom” hat she wore in her fourth grade photo with a pink flower in the front. And how she was always the first girl picked at kickball because she was so good. We went to junior high and high school together, and had a ton of classes together, did leadership together senior year and one of my favorite memories is a multi-cultural rally we organized when we made up a song and made tshirts and painted our faces and ran around the gym like crazy people in front of the entire student body. I remember study parties at her house, lounging on the couch and talking about nothing, baking cookies or cupcakes. I remember our honors english project, reenacting a scene from Hamlet. I remember her summers away as a camp counselor, and how she would always fall and hit her head snowboarding. How good she was at soccer. Her deep brown eyes. How she never wore makeup. How she loved being outdoors and how she loved her dogs. How she shrugged her shoulders and laughed and would put her hand on your shoulder to hold herself up when she was laughing. I can hear a conversation in my head with her.

I don’t think I’ve seen Car in five years. She’s been out of state since high school, and I totally remember seeing her on facebook and being so excited to catch up with her again. Facebook is how I found out she was missing, and literally minutes after I started contacting anyone I knew in Oregon to help in the search for her, the news story refreshed and I was reading about how she was gone. I keep thinking this is some weird joke, some weird untruth, that will all be over soon.

I am glad that she was found quickly…I cant imagine what her parents and sister are feeling…I’m watching the facebook world bring everyone from high school together again to think of how we will miss her, to share memories and pictures, to reach out and contact each other once again. And we realize what a special person Carly was to everyone, because we are all so devastated at the loss of her spirit in this world. It is very painful to think that I won’t hear her laugh or feel her hug this side of heaven.

to carly, where you are, i know you are smiling and laughing. we will never be the same. we were all better people for knowing you. do you know how much we love you? i wish i had told you more, and more recently, how much you have meant in my life. you will be missed every minute of every day. until we meet again.