Many times in our lives, situations occur that are unexplainable and leave us with the unanswered question, “Why did this have to happen?”
This question can lead us to focus on how unfair life seems and cause us to contemplate all the negatives present within the given situation.
By frantically searching for the answers and reasoning behind every struggle or challenge that is placed in our way, we are missing out on seeing the good hidden within the bad.
Some of us attempt to cope through the hard times positively through the assistance of quotes and clichés, such as “everything happens for a reason.” Others may avoid these types of sayings since they appear so vague and complex, and may not seem to bring them enough closure.
Today, I would like to prove that everything does happen for a reason, and that there just may be a reason why bad things happen to good people. By doing so, I would like to share a personal story as an example.
On Monday morning, November 26, 2012, I received the unfortunate news that someone very close to me had passed away. She was my coach, my teammate, and my friend. I was an absolute mess, as I am sure anyone else that crossed Amy Jones-Eades’ path in their life was as well.
She was the type of person that could light up a room with her warm presence and beautiful smile, which was often combined with a witty comment or two.
Her passion, positivity and never ending determination in all aspects within her life are qualities that are found few and far between, and just a small percentage of the many qualities this young heart possessed.
In January of 2011, at the age of 27, Amy Jones-Eades was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer. This diagnosis meant that Amy was no longer able to compete as an all-star cheerleader or as a competitive dancer.
Besides struggling with her health and having to give up many things that she once kept near and dear to her heart, the long road ahead was also going to make it difficult for Amy to continue to coach her dance teams, which meant the world to her.
This type of news is devastating for anyone to hear and the initial blow can hit each person in a different way. Many would expect it to be normal if Amy chose to break down and be devastated with the news and fear the long and difficult journey that lie ahead.
If Amy had these emotions at all, she sure hid them well. Amy chose to take this challenge head on and not let it keep her from coaching her teams through this illness to not one, but two back to back world championship titles. She also received the coveted 2012 Dance Coach of the Year award.
She continued to coach her teams, push them to the best of their ability and inspire each and every person that heard of her story along her journey. Even on her most sickly days, she refused to give up and always gave thanks and credit where it was due.
Amy has touched so many lives through her many roles as a daughter, a sister, a family member, a teammate, a friend, a coach, and a fiancé.
I am sure all of us who knew her or that have heard about her story are spending most of our days asking ourselves, “Why her? why do bad things happen to good people?”
Although it seems unfair and no answer can fill the hole in our heavy hearts, I believe she both came and went as a lesson.
I believe bad things happen to good people as a lesson for us all. Amy taught us several lessons through her two year battle with cancer. Those are to never give up, how to stay committed and how to see the good in everything.
Amy remained so positive, selfless and determined to be there for her friends, family, teams and anyone else that needed her through a time that one might think should have remained focused on herself.
However, she believed that staying positive and keeping her life as normal as possible was what kept her alive.
Every memory I have of her is one of her smiling and cracking jokes. Even when I went to visit her in the hospital and she was lying in bed, most likely in pain, she kept that same upbeat, quirky and positive attitude that she was known for throughout battle and from what I understand, never complained about her situation or asked anyone to feel sorry for her.
Although many of her family and friends wish that we could have her back in our lives so she could continue to brighten our days with her one-of-a-kind,“AMYzing” personality, knowing that these next few weeks, months and years are not going to be easy without her, what we can do now is help her legacy live on and learn from the unintentional lessons she has left behind.
After all, as Amy always said, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
IMAGE TAKEN from facebook.com