I’ve written this post several times over the last two days in my head. Sometimes it was sad, sometimes frustrated, sometimes happy. I wrote it all out in my head, not knowing if there would actually ever be anything to publish. But that was good for me, I think. I love words. There is power in words. Writing them is cathartic for me, and after hearing the news that my good friend, Tiffany, had been shot and killed in a tragic accident, an emotional catharsis is exactly what I needed.

I heard the best way I could. I’m so glad that is was Tim that delivered the news to me in person, instead of a phone call, on the news, or, good-grief, on Facebook.

I met Tiffany when I was in High School. She was a year behind me, but we were in drama club together. She was bright, beautiful, and not just funny, she was hilarious. Rarely did we spend time together where we didn’t at some point end up doubled over in side-splitting laughter. We had this fantasy we made up one day together during some down time at a dress rehearsal that we would one day run off together and join the circus. She could learn to walk the tight rope and I would hoola-hoop fifty hoola-hoops at once. We’d be a smash. Later, we dreamed of going off to NYC or LA together and renting some hole-in-the-wall and pursuing our hopes of becoming movie stars. Often we would talk in British accents with each other, both of us being able to pull them off quite convincingly, and that is where my pet name for her, Tiffany Dahhhling, was derived from.

In 2007, she was so sweet as to walk before me and stand beside me on one of the most important days of my life, my wedding day. She was the perfect bride’s maid. Kind, willing, fun. I will never ever forget the night before my wedding, leaving the rehearsal dinner. After kissing my soon-to-be-groom goodnight, Tiffany offered to give me a ride home, since she was sleeping over with me before my big day. As we started pulling out of the parking lot behind a string of other rehearsal attendees, Tiffany told me to, “Buckle up!”

I believe I made some comment about seat belts and rubbish, to which she replied in a silly sing-song voice, “Better safe than sorry!”

Bam!

She not-so-slightly rear-ended my cousin Kristy and her husband in their SUV. In the words of Alanis, “Isn’t it ironic?” I guess they knew it was us and knew that we were headed for the same place, becuase they drove off without getting out to survey the damage. As they were driving off we could see the flash of streetlights reflecting off of a dent on their rear bumper. The whole way home Tiffany looked as though she was sitting on a pin cushion. She kept saying how embarrassed she was. I would giggle to lighten the mood, but felt a little nervous myself about what Kristy and David would say once we got back to my house.

The dented bumper gave us a smug smile as we pulled into the drive way, confirming what we’d seen before. Tiffany’s car, however, had little more than a scratch on the front. We entered the house and Kristy and David were just talking to my folks, kind of light like, not seeming to be too disturbed by the incident. We drug in our elephant and stood there nervously, wondering how no one else seemed to see it. I can’t remember how the conversations finally came around to the fender-bender, but David just chuckled and finally said, “Oh, you thought you put that dent in our bumper? That dent has been there!”

I’m happy to say that no insurance policy numbers were exchanged, only laughter and relief, especially on mine and Tiffany’s part.

Laughter. It was always laughter with Tiffany Bishop. She was one of the few people in the world that could get me to act even sillier than I already do.

Over the past few years, our lives seemed to run in two separate worlds, as they seem to do with friends from time to time. Things happen. Things change. Distance separates. We would find our way back to each other on Facebook every few months and croon over how we loooooved each other and how we missed each other and all those sappy words, vowing to try to make time to see each other in the near future if we were both in Henry County at the same time. Back around Easter of this year she sent me a message saying she was in Henry County for a bit and rode by my parents’ house just to see if they were home and if I was there. Of course we weren’t, but I was so flattered that she thought of me and just took the chance. What a sweet, sweet girl. I loved her dearly.

I love her dearly still.

She will always be my Tiffany Dahhling.

Needless to say, the past few days have been an emotional roller coaster for me. I’m sure all the pregnancy hormones weren’t helping either. I went to her service today and it was good in the closure department. I feel much better having seen her, though it didn’t look like her. It was the same with my Nanny in her passing. It never looks like them, lying in a casket. Tiffany was so full of life, vibrant…BOUNCY!…but there was nothing vibrant or bouncy about her today. Her family hugged me, told me she loved me, and to remember the good times we had. I was sobbing, but I somehow squeaked out, “We only had good times.”

It’s true.

Not a stale memory, have I, of Tiffany Bishop.

And for anyone who was also in attendance at her funeral, I would like to state, declare, exclaim! There is NOTHING that God cannot do. The preacher made a few statements about God not being able to save her, about God not being able to stop a catastrophe from happening. I don’t want to sound as though I am condemning that preacher, most of what he said about our Lord, Jesus Christ, I wholeheartedly agree with. There is no fear of death when Jesus is your savior. But there is NOTHING that God cannot do! God could have stopped that gun from firing. God could have sustained her life in the ambulance where he took her. God could have called Tiffany up from that casket, set her heart beating again after two days of stillness. He has done it before. He has calmed storms, healed the terminally ill, and raised the dead more than once! There is NOTHING that God cannot do.

But there is a grave difference between what God cannot do and what he will not do.

He knows why August 31, 2011 was the perfect time to take Tiffany from this earth. For us to question it is futile. I guarantee that Tiffany is not questioning it. She now knows why. One day, we will too. Now is the time for us to lean into our big God. To trust that He is omnipotent. He knows best. The glory be to him forever and ever.

Rest in peace, my sweet friend. Your time was short, but your life was full. What better legacy to leave than a life well lived?

With love, Malorie

P.S. There have been two songs that have been running through my mind over and over. I can’t get them out, so I’ll just let them out.

Funny the Way It Is – Dave Matthews

Lying in the park on a beautiful day,
Sunshine in the grass, and the children play.
Siren’s passing, fire engine red,
Someone’s house is burning down on a day like this?

The evening comes and we’re hanging out,
On the front step, and a car rolls by with the windows rolled down,
And that war song is playing, “why can’t we be friends?”
Someone is screaming and crying in the apartment upstairs

Funny the way it is, if you think about it
Somebody’s going hungry and someone else is eating out
Funny the way it is, Am I right or wrong
Somebody’s heart is broken and it becomes your favorite song

The way your mouth feels in your lovers kiss
Like a pretty bird on a breeze or water to a fish
A bomb blast brings a building crashing to the floor
You can hear the laughter, while the children play “war”

Funny the way it is, if you think about it
One kid walks 10 miles to school, another’s dropping out
Funny the way it is, not right or wrong
On a soldier’s last breath his baby’s being born

Standing on a bridge, watch the water passing under me
It must’ve been much harder when there was no bridge, just water
Now the world is small. Remember how it used to be,
With mountains and oceans and winters and rivers and stars?

Watch the sky, the jet planes, so far out of my reach
Is there someone up there looking down on me?
Boy chase a bird, so close but every time
He’ll never catch her, but he can’t stop trying

Funny the way it is, if you think about it
One kid walks 10 miles to school, another’s dropping out
Funny the way it is, not right or wrong
On a soldier’s last breath his baby’s being born
Funny the way it is, nor right or wrong
Somebody’s broken heart becomes your favorite song
Funny the way it is, if you think about it
A kid walks 10 miles to school, another’s dropping out.

Standing on a bridge, watch the water passing under me
It must’ve been much harder when there was no bridge, just water
Now the world is small. Remember how it used to be,
With mountains and oceans and winters and rivers and stars?

If I Die Young – The Band Perry

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Uh oh, uh oh

Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh and
Life ain’t always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain’t even grey, but she buries her baby

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had just enough time

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had just enough time

And I’ll be wearing white, when I come into your kingdom
I’m as green as the ring on my little cold finger,
I’ve never known the lovin’ of a man
But it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand,
There’s a boy here in town who says he’ll love me forever,
Who would have thought forever could be severed by

The sharp knife of a short life, well,
I’ve had just enough time

So put on your best boys and I’ll wear my pearls
What I never did is done

A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I’ll sell them for a dollar
They’re worth so much more after I’m a goner
And maybe then you’ll hear the words I been singin’
Funny when you’re dead how people start listenin’

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Uh oh (uh, oh)
The ballad of a dove (uh, oh)
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep ’em in your pocket
Save them for a time when you’re really gonna need them, oh

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had just enough time

So put on your best boys and I’ll wear my pearls

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