Living, loving life to the fullest

January 31, 2008

by Staci Parks

We’re not promised tomorrow, although we all live like tomorrow is dispensable.

I’m guilty; we’re all guilty.

After all, most of us are 19 to 22 and mentally invincible.

Every now and then something happens that I just can’t manage to wrap my mind around. Last Thursday, Melanie Goodwin, a University of North Texas student, was murdered and then burned.

She was 19.

I can’t imagine what her family and friends must be going through. A tragedy of this proportion affects everyone. Although I did not personally know her or her family, the fact that she is gone has a firm grip on my thoughts me. At 19, you tend to have the mentality that nothing bad or unjust can or will ever happen to you. I know I think this way. I always roll my eyes and give a sarcastic “Yes, Ma’am” when my aunt begs me to call her upon my arrival to any where that requires 30 or more minutes of total driving time.

Life is scary; there’s no way of knowing what tomorrow will bring, and tragedies such as this reaffirm that fact.

Probably what seizes my attention the most is the fact that her Facebook page is still in operation.

Maybe she updated it the day she died. Maybe she added a friend or pictures from a get-together. That’s what makes this young woman’s death so real to me.

One thing that keeps running through my mind is the question of what if something similar happened to me and my Facebook or MySpace page was a major role in my remembrance?

Would my family like what they saw? Is there anything on there that I wouldn’t want certain eyes to view?

Unfortunately, I can solidly answer two of those questions with a “yes.” What does this say about me and the life that I’m attempting to live?

You know this; just think about it.

Is there a massively inappropriate “Party Pic” set as your default picture?

I’m not suggesting that everyone hole themselves up in their dorm rooms/apartments for the remainder of their college careers for the fear of making a stupid mistake or decision.

Maybe we should just be more selective in what we place on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

However, these sites do have an overwhelmingly positive aspect.

It seems to me, they provide a path to closure for friends, families and acquaintances; it’s a way to get in that final “I love you” or goodbye. Perhaps it’s soothing to the family to know that many people loved and cared for the person as they did.

It’s unfortunate that events such as this and the Virginia Tech tragedy have to transpire in order for us to step back and take a moment to appreciate life and the futures that we have before us.