"Look for me in the people I've known and loved, and if you cannot give me away, at least let me live in your eyes and not in your mind."
In 2006, I started going to OSRUI. The first memory I have of camp is of Heather, my counselor, teaching me how to make friendship bracelets when I was missing home. I have no idea why it worked, however, I used that same tactic with my own campers this past summer. Heather was cheerful and loving, and I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to camp. One year later, on yet another first day of camp, I ran straight from my dad's SUV into her arms. The next year, however, I was met on the first day of camp with the news that she had cancer. Obviously, at the time, i was in 5th grade, so i didn't really know what that meant. Three years later, I got dropped off at my first youth group event. Heather greeted me like she hadn't just been through a round of chemo. Her smile was nurturing as she pushed me to have fun and make friends. Two years after that, our team, Chemosaurus Rex, was campaigning for Relay For Life. Physically, Heather wasn't doing so well, but she never let us see that. She just kept encouraging us to fundraise. A month and a half before our Relay, Heather passed away. I have never met someone as selfless as she was. This past summer, I got to be a counselor at OSRUI. There wasn't a day that went by when I didn't think of her. All I can hope is that I made her proud.
I don't remember when I met Oz. I started swimming at YWCA Flying Fish somewhere around age 5, so it was probably within those first one or two years. Initially, he pushed me harder than any other coach, so i dreaded my practices with him, but over time, my feelings about Oz changed. I started to learn to take risks because I always knew that no matter what, he would have my back. I let him push me off the diving blocks when I was scared. As much as he called me Emmy, which drove me crazy, i still can't help but think of him every time that I smell chlorine. i just wish I had gotten the chance to thank him before he died. From him, I learned to take risks.
I can truly say that without these two people, I do not know who I would be today.
May their memories be for a blessing.