five minutes ago i got home from a wildly unsuccessful shopping excursion in oak brook, a day that started out as i chipped my car free of it’s icy shell and met my parents for a long lunch to celebrate my mother’s birthday.

i returned home, put away some groceries (i’m baking cookies tonight – the gay chorus sunk its teeth) and sat down to check my email.
a good friend, amy, hit me up on gchat:
amy: have you heard about rhiannon?
me: no?  do tell.
amy: calling you now…
never a good sign, right?
rhiannon was killed on friday night.  she and her boyfriend were hit by a drunk driver in LA, who ran a stoplight.
the drunk driver walked away from the accident with a few scratches.
doesn’t that seem like the vanilla plated story on these things?  
it’s always the innocent who lose out.  end up dead.  or paralyzed.  
while the idiot wakes up the next morning in the same condition he was in on thursday.
it crushes my heart.
rhiannon and i were at stanford together.  
she’s one of those people who was going to be amazing…she was a stanford dolly*, a socialite queen, wicked smart, and ALWAYS smiling.  
there’s a reason variety magazine covered her death, and i remember her filling me in on her success in LA back in october, all the while thinking, “wow…not many people are successful at our age in the entertainment industry.”
i remember she was wearing this daring, flowy outfit, and she looked so fit and fresh…she stood out in that way that some people do at a reunion.
the picture of her…that’s how she ALWAYS looked.  bright and cheery, and it was never overdone…she was one of the most pleasant people i knew.
her death makes me wish i’d known her better.  
it tugs at my heart to know that some of my closest, most intimate girlfriends were very, very close to her, and they lost her eight weeks after we were all reunited from around the country and globe on campus again after five years.
i send my love to all of you.
rhiannon will be remembered for that smile, and i think for that reason she’s a reminder that every one of us should brighten up a little bit and smile at the people around us.  
i know tomorrow i’ll do just that, in honor of rhiannon’s memory.
*the dollies were the dancers at stanford who performed with the band.  oddly enough, it was a HUGE honor to be selected as a dolly, and earning that honor took not only the talent as a performer, but impeccable academic and social resumes.

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