Celebrating Sydney

Every single detail of that day is crystal clear. And for someone with a brain game app that I can’t remember to play often enough to see results, that’s huge.

Visiting Lake Mills with family and friends on September 18th, 2015
Visiting Lake Mills with family and friends on September 18th, 2015

The story of losing Sydney Tabakin on September 18th, 2010 will continue to be told, and will continue to reach more hearts with every reverberation of sorrow and laughter. It’s muscle memory- ingrained in our minds, tattooed in our hearts (and sometimes elsewhere), and rolling off our tongues with the same authenticity and emotion it created 5 years ago.

We have also proven the stories of Sydney’s life will live on, each one unique to the storyteller and their relationship with Sydney.

For the last five years, we have focused on the love and the loss; but the story we need even more than that, is this-

“We are so lucky,” I told myself just after a usual bout of clumsiness interrupted my zen thoughts about the 11825824_10153343871535668_1028002565700626142_nweekend to come and left me clutching a stubbed toe. It’s a phrase I repeat often. “Thank your body for each and every moment of this practice, we are so so lucky,” I tell my yoga students as they awake from savasana. In every situation it seems to apply. And on the eve of the 18th, my excitement for seeing the luckiest people I know- those who knew Sydney- overpowered any distractions or setbacks.

Just as I expected, my weekend was filled with the best friends I could imagine, laughing until I couldn’t speak, all purple ereything, and more long island ice teas than I knew possible {aka 11 gallons}. I had referred to this weekend as a reunion, and that’s exactly what it was. A celebration of life and the friends that make every encounter unforgettable.

Just as we all had different experiences and relationships with Sydney, each person who could and could not be there this weekend is a part of a whole. While the empty space created by a loss like Sydney can never be filled, this weekend brought back a sense of vitality so many of us had been missing. We didn’t all choose to be a part of the tragedy that occurred 5 years ago, but we chose to celebrate life this weekend, and we continue to choose each other. 

We choose who we catch up with, what grudges we hold, and what this special weekend will look like in 30 years. We decide how many times a day we can be inspired to say, “I am so lucky.”

Sydney's parking spot, September 2010
Sydney’s parking spot, September 2010

The people we surround ourselves with and what we make time for reflects what we value, and this weekend was no different.

At the time of the car accident, our friend group was beginning senior year. Decisions about our future demanded our attention and pressure continued to set in. At the same time, we chose to be present; to engage with each person around us and make the most of our last year in the same place. We knew how to balance and prioritize what mattered most.

Now with many of us as nearing or starting out in a new chapter, it can be easy to lose sight of what we’ve accomplished, who we have inspired, and what we know.

The stories of Sydney are nowhere near done, the only difference is the next story of how she impacted your life isn’t is the past tense, it starts today.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s