January 30, 2013

Farewell friend: Sarai Slaughter

Sarai at prom

Yesterday evening one of my best friends, Amy, contacted me via Facebook chat to inform me that she found out via Facebook a high school friend of ours had passed away. At first I was thinking, "what?" I just stared at the screen because it wouldn't sink in.. 

Freshman year

Sarai was an amazing person and an awesome friend. My memories of her range from her unique fashions to fascinating conversations. I'll never forget for our senior high school trip (during Spring Break if I recall) a group of us (10 I think) decided we wanted to go to Disney World. By the time it came to purchase tickets for airfare and make reservations for the hotel, it was just down to Amy, Sarai, and myself.

We were so excited and I finally was going to live out a life long dream to meet Mickey Mouse. After settling into our hotel once we arrived we did some sight seeing, but we waited until the next morning to go to Disney World. I'll never forget we had Breakfast with the Stars and you were able to take pictures with them. We took in so many rides, took so many pictures, just had so much fun overall. It is still one of the highlights of my life.

Amy & Sarai meeting a Stormtrooper

I still can't believe that after such a great time in our lives, finishing high school, and getting ready for college, that a car accident caused by a careless individual would change her life forever. I'll never forget when my mom woke me up and told me she had just talked with someone (Amy's mom I think) and they informed her that Sarai had been in a severe car accident and she was at Barnes Hospital. I remember shooting out of my bed still in my pajamas and putting on my shoes and looking for my car keys. My mom had to calm me down and tell me to take a shower and get dressed and she would drive me down there. I was so nervous I couldn't believe this had happened.

All I can remember from when we arrived at the hospital was my stomach being in knots. I was walking/running to get to where we were suppose to be, my mom's voice behind me telling me to slow down. I honestly don't remember who else was in the waiting area near Sarai's room except seeing her mom. I remember giving her a hug and she is preparing me for what I'm going to see when I go into Sarai's room. I tell ya till this day....I still get goosebumps recalling that memory. I remember her telling me to be strong and try not to cry. Hell I had already been crying up until that moment. I honestly thought when I saw Sarai in her hospital room that I was going to faint. I saw all the wires, machine hook ups and I'll never forget the stent that had been put into her head to help with the swelling to her brain. I remember going over to her and saying her name and telling her I was there. I was touching one of her hand's and her hair.

Gen and Sarai at Prom, I always did love Sarai's unique facial expressions

I honestly didn't know if she was going to survive. When I heard the details of the accident and what happened later on, I just kept thinking, Why? and why her.... As time went by more information kept coming through and Sarai did come out of her coma. Yet the price she paid for it was far too high. Gone was the friend who used to scare the mess out of me when I was at my locker by sometimes running at high speed then stopping right when she got close by. She was now confined to a motorized wheelchair, with severely limited physical mobility and could no longer talk. I remember visiting her when she had been transferred from the hospital to a healthcare facility (Bethesda, I think). It took everything in me not to cry when I would visit. I honestly didn't know if she remembered me.

Gen and Sarai at prom

I can't say enough about Sarai's mom. That woman is a warrior and God only knows she has been through the fire and back with all this on her shoulders.  Not once do I recall her being angry. Her only focus was Sarai and making sure that she was able to take care of her.

Throughout the years our lives have gone on. Sarai and her mom moved to Colorado. I had lost touch with them unfortunately but when I found out they were on Facebook I immediately sent out a friend request to Ms. Slaughter. I was so happy to see recent pictures of Sarai that I didn't even realize I was crying at first. 

Retreat time

From time to time I still think about that day and even now almost 16 years later I can still find information regarding the accident here and here. The man that did this to her is Richard Weith. From what I heard a phone call he was on distracted him from paying attention to the road and unfortunately Sarai paid for his carelessness. I remember someone telling me that he was a part-time firefighter and I thought how ironic. Here is someone who is suppose to be about public safety yet you can't practice what you supposedly preach. For a while I was obsessed with what this guy looked like, I prayed that some type of bodily harm would befall him. Hell I was praying I could be the one to do it to him. I don't know if he ever received jail time or was even sued by Sarai's family. Over the years I wonder if he ever felt guilty or had any remorse for the lives he changed. Not only of Sarai's but her mom, her family, and her friends.

Rosati-Kain Prom 1997

When I found out that she had passed, I went home yesterday evening and cried in my bedroom. I miss her but part of me is thinking her suffering is gone and now she is in a better place. But even in the end I still think damn such a life with so much promise and it's just not fair.

I miss you Sarai. I know you are in heaven stirring up all kinds of ruckus with your red  horns, wings, and pitchfork.

One of my favorite pics of Sarai ;)

 Side note: I'll upload some pictures to this post hopefully today and later on this week.

Side side note: pics are uploaded. 

Until the next episode....

 All That MsJazz
Copyright @ All That MsJazz. Blog Design by KotrynaBassDesign