The Blink of an Eye

They say you shouldn’t write when you’re angry. But I am angry. Angry that a beautiful girl with a promising future was taken so suddenly and senselessly from us by the stupidity and carelessness of another human being. Angry that all the hope and promise that came with her graduation from high school just two days earlier vanished in the blink of an eye. And completely devastated by the fact that I knew this girl personally.

We read about tragedies each and every day – some natural, some horrifically unnatural. We may pause for a moment and think, “How sad…” or “What a shame…” but then we go on with our lives, never fully stopping to process what their loved ones must be going through. In this case, it is all too close to home.

Brittney Walsh was a student of mine at the dance studio that I attended for 20 years. She was a bright, bubbly, enthusiastic girl – always smiling, and always “high on life” as they say. She used to tell me that I was her “most favorite” teacher and that she absolutely HAD to be in my class every year. Of course, she would eventually grow up and move beyond those levels – but she never missed an opportunity to stop by my side of the studio and visit, to throw her arms around me and exclaim, “ I miss you Miss Jamie!”

Well, now it is my turn to miss her. She was one of a kind. Over the fifteen or so years I was an assistant teacher, I probably taught hundreds of kids. But there are those who just…stand out. I think any teacher, or coach – or anyone who has the good fortune to work with children – would say the same. There are those you just remember, who touch your life in a way that simply can’t be put into words.

Well, Brittney touched my life in that way, along with countless others I’m sure. Her spirit and infectious smile are ingrained in my mind, along with years’ worth of memories – silly things, like how amazed she was that I always spelled her name right on my attendance sheets…

And now, just like that, the memories are all that is left. And now everyone will remember her name forever.

Let this be a lesson to all those who have been touched by this tragedy. Today is the only guarantee we have. Tomorrow is not a given.

Rest In Peace Brittney.


{Published: July 4th, 2012}


Jamie Lynn RyanComment