My years at Smith College were the best of my life, to date. It was where I learned that sometimes it's ok to make bad decisions. (I learned a lot of other things, too, don't get me wrong.) More than anything, though, I found a second family. The Smithies surrounding me were, from day one until this very moment, my support system. They are my source for adventure, advice, hugs, rubber ducks, tea, and love. (I know, gross.) They picked me up after I fell so many times. They still do. My Smithies are the first ones I want to call when I have good news or bad news or stupid news. They are the reason I started writing here. They are the family I chose.
Like Harry Potter, I was sorted randomly into a house--but I never for one second believed it was random. The universe sent me that house, those women, that family. We were meant to find each other.
One of those women, a brilliant and caring young woman, lost her battle with cancer this week. It has been a tough reality to face. Knowing that Kirby, someone so beautiful and kind, has lost to such an ugly disease...it steals the air from my lungs. I can't pretend to understand. Kirby was a superhero walking undetected among us, making things right whenever she could. Hearing the news of her diagnosis this fall, I had to sit down. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Last week, when news of her declining health reached me, I sobbed. The unfairness of it all. And when I saw E's name on the screen of my phone, I knew it was over.
And even through all of this, I look back at our time at Smith...and I can't help but smile. And I know that's exactly how I will remember her. I'm so proud to call her a part of my history. My whole family is.