ten years ago

When you are interviewed for jobs you are asked " where will you be in 1 year ( 5 years or 10 years)?" and of course your answer morphs all the time, sometimes even day to day. A friend of my husbands reminded me that 2014 would be their 10 year high school reunion. It got me to thinking about ten years ago and since we were in the month of March, I just merely thought, " I was in eighth grade at William P Hobby Middle School." I then began to think of the things that happened in eighth grade.

     I loved wearing purple and gold, our school colors. I was an officer in the club Hobby Pride, along with being a student council board rep. I was in yearbook and newspaper along with being a tennis player. I was in Mr. Montgomery's ( Monty) US history class and Mrs. Correas English Class. I went to every football games because I was a tad boy crazy. I passed notes in class ALOT. And most of all I was in Theater and my teacher Mrs. Rowe was a rockstart.
     In the fall of 2002 we did the play Anne of Green Gables. After the performance one of my favorite people in the whole wide world came backstage. He was one of my best friends, and best friends to most of the cast. He had moved schools after seventh grade year or else he would have been on stage with us. During the previous years, we had many a NSYNC and Britney Spears dance parties and sang ALOT of musical numbers, including Lion King. He had bandages on his head, and told us he had a brain tumor removed but that everything would be okay. We heard the same story after our winter musical, Kokonut Kapers.
     In May of 2003 the eighth graders schedules were very full. The most exciting part about it was that for the advanced theater students we were going to get to go on a field trip to Austin to meet with casting directors. The second week in May would be a crazy one. Wednesday I arrived at school and was walking to the theater room, where I hung out with friends before the bell rung, and Carlos came running towards me with a newspaper clipping and I could tell he had been crying. Our friend that had visited us during our plays this year had died. I thought to myself, " he said he was going to be okay," and "there is no way this could be happening." Travis was the first death of someone I knew that I was having to process. For all of us we were going to have to deal with the death of a friend. We spent the whole day in the theater room processing it all with our theater teacher and counselor.
     That evening my two close friends Chris and Erin came with me to the viewing. My dad tried to cheer us up after the viewing by singing, "the Thong Song." The next day we went to school and were told we had to try to make it through classes until we left for the funeral. I remember riding with three other girls to the funeral. The music during the service was from "The Lion King" and I was able to keep it together until after the eulogy when they played,"I Just Cant Wait to Be King." My mind flew to the image that Rafiki drew in the wall of a small lion, one without a mane.
     My friends and I spoke with the dad that had driven us to the funeral, and ended up attending the burial. I did not know how hard that portion of the day would be, but I remember seeing the casket begin to move down and my friend Chris holding me because I was crying uncontrollably.
When we got back to school we had a meeting, because we were going to Austin the next day to meet with the casting directors. Mrs. Rowe said, " Travis would want you to go and impress the directors, he wouldn't want you to miss it because you were sad for him." And she was right, Travis would have loved to have gone to Austin and do mini auditions with casting directors- we had to go for him.

Travis did not ever get to fulfill his dreams of being on Broadway or in the Movies but he lived his life for Christ and to the fullest- and that is what any and all of us should be doing.

"No one saying do this  
No one saying be there
No one saying stop that
No one saying see here
Free to run around all day
Free to do it all my way!"
  Travis is getting to live out the words to "I Just Cant Wait," up in Heaven. I bet he is constantly singing and dancing, just as he would have been doing if he were still here. I have never forgotten Travis and I can bet that many people have great memories of him dancing and singing and acting. If you knew him and do have some special memories, feel free to comment. Monday I will be going to his grave for the first time since he passed away 10 years ago. 
     Ten years ago, I dont know what I would have told you I would be doing this May, it might have been NYU, or maybe Julliard. All I know is that 14 year old me would have been a little confused about my crazy journey but would have been proud that I am keeping my life centered in Christ and still living life to the fullest. 
- 24 year old me 


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