I never had the opportunity to meet her, yet she has melted my heart and left a monumental imprint on my life. I think about her often. I think about her family. I think about that day.
"I have some horrible news about Deanna..." Roxanne began. I will never forget the message on my voicemail that Sunday afternoon. The unthinkable followed.
One year ago, Paris Lavone White died. Less than two weeks after her second birthday, she drowned in the family pool.
My daughter is two.
I still don't know all the details. I'm not sure that they matter so much. What matters is that a princess was lost. A family has lost... yet, they endure.
A year and a lifetime later, the pink band around my wrist reminds me of them. It reminds me of her. Through it, she speaks to me. "Life is a gift," she says.
"Tomorrow is never a guarantee. Treasure each moment. Treasure your family. Treasure your children. Live significantly. Live abundantly. Love abundantly. Take precautions. Never presume. Always hope. Always endure. Remember that we are all vulnerable. Remember that we are in this together. Remember that we must never forget. Remember my family. Remember my life," she implores.