With pain there is beauty. Like so many mysteries of life, the reason why remains unclear. The mystery of why Jayden, a a beautiful eleven-year old girl left our Earth far too soon will always remain unsolved.
Nearly a year has passed since the incident that sent Jayden’s soul to the stars. A year feels like a long time. In this time I have met new people, traveled, completed my second year of college, experienced failure and grown from those whom I admire. I reflect back on how how I spent my time because time is precious.
Jayden’s presence taught me that time is all we have, and life - no matter how long one lives - is short. We cannot waste the precious minutes by simply going through the motions. We cannot shelter ourselves and live a life without purpose, because Jayden would not have lived that way. The night before the storm, I remember dancing around the beit dam with Jayden. She smiled her infectious, toothy grin and made you feel genuinely happy. While reflecting on this moment, the answer about how to live life became obvious. We must choose happy, for life is far to short to to feel content or anything less than happy. Luckily, the beautiful thing about choosing happy is that regardless of upbringing, our quality of life depends on non-monetary things such as our attitude, reactions, attentiveness to others, and motivation to reach our dreams.
Tonight, as I stand in the midst of my resilient Camp Livingston community, I feel Jayden’s presence shining through the iridescent moon. Jayden’s loss feels incredibly painful, yet impossibly beautiful. She inspired myself and everyone she touched to make the most of our temporary existence and choose happy. Tonight I smile through the tears because this moment holds more beauty than pain. All of our gazes fixate on the golden full moon, and we think of Jayden as we appreciate the night sky- the beauty in the pain.