This I Believe

Delainey - Englewood, Colorado
Entered on May 5, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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“I want to live every moment like it’s my last!” I heard those very words just weeks before the accident. The accident not only destroyed a beautiful life, but also shattered the hearts of her countless friends.

Accidents are capable of resulting with little or, immeasurable consequences which can change multiple lives forever. For example, when I spill a glass of milk on the brand new shirt I picked out for school or drop toothpaste on my favorite hoodie it’s unfortunate, but it’s not a dire consequence that I can not overcome in a few minutes. However, the fatal freak accident of a snowmobile hitting the most loving, influential, and happy thirteen year old in my entire world, is a devastating experience that uprooted the innocence surrounding my childhood that allowed me to dream of hope, and limitless happiness. The accident of Ashley Stamp took place on December 19, 2004.

The revelation that the world is not nearly as perfect as it once seemed is enough pain without the added grief of the incident that brought that realization about. The situation made me question all of my previous beliefs and values that I had accumulated over the years. For instance, I had previously believed that nothing terrible happens to people who only perform good deeds. This was completely shot down with the crashing of the snowmobile’s roaring engine, but all I heard was the name after skiing to the bottom. The name was Ashley Stamp.

I always listened to the stories about freak accidents such as a gondola falling into a river, a skier who slips off a snow cat, or a college student with a fatal head injury after tripping on the stairs while completely sober. Nevertheless, I never considered that in a million years I would experience such a situation. To this day my heart skips a beat and my body cringes every time I hear the overpowering roar of the engine, the engine that made the beast real, the beast that with one fell swipe ruined my naïve perception of the world. That oblivious machine can’t even come close to understanding the devastation it has clouded Colorado with.

Ashley Stamp had outstanding opportunities for the entire life ahead of her. She was a tremendous soccer player as well as one of the best skiers in the region, and she was a great student. Since Ashley isn’t able to complete her own goals, all of us who knew her strive to complete them for her, and smile the whole way through, just like she would. I believe that accidents occur and that people must live life in the moment so they can experience all of the joys of life before it’s torn from them. During life Ashley taught me to live with no regrets, the accident did not change that belief; it only made it harder to overcome the sorrows of everyday life. The memory of Ashley Stamp will live on in all who knew her smiling face.