Thursday, December 10, 2009

Miss Morgan

This past Monday I lost a wonderful young friend. Her name is Morgan. Morgan was the president of the the Lambuth University chapter of AOII where I serve as the Chapter Advisor. That means that Morgan and I talked a lot. And because college students can apparently only meet at ungodly hours of the night, it means that I spent a lot of late nights hanging out with her and the rest of the women. Usually by the time the meeting was over I was too tired to actually get up and walk to my car, so I'd sit on the big red couch and listen to the girls talk and laugh. Morgan was always there.

Morgan was born with a broken heart. I don't know the details, but it wasn't in good shape, and required surgery through the years to rebuild as she grew. Last Monday she had another open-heart surgery to replace the aorta. But when the surgery was over and she was back in her room, they realized that the aorta had burst and she was losing blood. There was a second surgery to stop the bleeding, but it was too late.

I was telling the story of Morgan the other day and someone asked what her life expectancy was, and I realized that I had never thought about it. And I never thought about it because I would have never known she was sick if she hadn't told me. She was bright and shiny and passionate and funny--immortal, really. Just like the other girls in the sorority who are just exploding with potential. I never considered her life expectancy because she was just so full of, well, life. How could someone with that much life ever be defined by "life expectancy"? She couldn't. Life expectancy was irrelevant when it came to Morgan.

So you know how you say really nice things about people when they die? Well, they're all true. She was wet-your-pants funny and generous, and smart and beautiful. She loved people and she embraced her life with every ounce of energy she could muster. And she was so unassuming. I imagine she has no idea just how amazing she is...how beautiful, how good, how she exemplified everything that every young woman wants to be.

Her mother came over to the house last night to hang out with the girls--we initiated her mother last semester--and I was watching her. She's been crying for three days and she's obviously exhausted, but I watched her alternate between laughing and crying with those girls and she looked so young and so fresh....despite what she's gone through. And I think about how proud Morgan would be of her for just putting one foot in front of the other, for being willing to spend an evening with the women who shared Morgan's life even though it must feel so raw and painful. Morgan's mother says that Morgan was her strength. If that's the case, I have no doubt where Morgan got that strength in the first place.

There's no visitation because Morgan wouldn't want a somber procession of sad people around, so there'll be a memorial service tomorrow at Lambuth and a funeral service at Morgan's church on Saturday. It will be hard but healing.

I miss her so much.