In the one journal that I saved from my high school and college years (some I lost, most I destroyed during my anti-nostalgia phase a few years back), there appears the following entry: ‘Sunday, July 29, 1990. 9:09PM. Stacey died today. It is impossible for me to write about how I feel.’
Twenty years later, I sit here staring at the screen trying to think of what to write and I realize that time hasn’t made the task of putting feelings into words any easier. I have not forgotten Stacey over the years and I can’t help but think of her when I flip through an old yearbook or go to the occasional high school football game.
I have gotten older but she is still frozen in time in my mind. The last time I talked to her was on senior picture day just four days before she died. I think her picture was taken right before mine. I’m sure I replayed our conversation repeatedly in my mind when it happened – I can’t recall any of it now. Even though I knew she had problems, I just thought that we were all going through similar teenage stuff. There was nothing that led me to think that Stacey was so close to making the choice that she did. Now there is The Jason Foundation and other resources available that we just didn’t have back then. I have wondered today who she might have turned out to be had the outcome been different.
Sometime around the end of 1988 or the start of 1989, Stacey gave me a tape of songs. I can’t recall now why she did it – maybe I copied some stuff off for her and she returned the favor.
She ended the tape with this song: