Loss of friend reminds us all to cherish today

Ashley Kelly has now become “that girl who died” from “that accident near Friday’s,” thanks to our University gossip mill. I wanted to write something for the student body so they know she was so much more than a news story.

Ashley was the first person I met here at UM. Having seen my Dave Matthews Band T-shirt, she came up to me and we started talking about our shared love for music. This was the first conversation I had at college, and Ashley soon became my first friend here, as well. In addition to her roommate and best friend, Andrea Cinque, Christina Hajj and I became her “Friends #1 and #2.” This may sound “elementary” of us, but anyone who knew her knew how loyal Ashley was. And any freshman just entering college knows how important loyalty is in such a momentous, and intimidating, step in life.

Ashley was such a refreshing person to be around. Her stories captivated me. Her blue eyes intrigued me. Her spirit invigorated me. Her attitude towards life inspired me.

Ashley was a seize-the-day type of girl, as anyone could see in the lyrics in her away messages, her lively personality and the dreams she held for her future.

I remember at the beginning of this semester, Ashley and I had a few talks about life. We would just chill in her room, listen to DMB, and talk. I remember her talking about her uncertainty in wanting to stay at UM for the next three years. The semester went on and we talked occasionally. The last time I talked to her, we were walking to class. She was in one of her usual peppy moods and she had her hair in two braided pigtails. She was telling me how happy she was to move in with Andrea, Christina and Kate next fall. And although I can’t see her anymore, it’s comforting to know she was happy when she passed away.

I wanted to write about Ashley’s life in order to give her the appropriate recognition she deserves. We owe it to her and to ourselves to relax a bit and appreciate life.

It’s amazing to me that in this high-paced life, everything can be changed forever in a matter of seconds. Nothing I could write will bring Ashley back, but I will do whatever I can to celebrate her life. I wholeheartedly agree something must be done about the traffic situation at that intersection, but for now, let’s just take the time to remember Ashley for who she was: She loved her family, her friends here and back home, school, the sunset, music, partying, our school’s arboretum, making other people feel good, making a difference for the world and having a good time.

I know this sounds clich