I was organizing my school and work papers (which will probably take another month, as my current way of organizing was to stack everything in on pile that has turned to five piles... eesh) when I pulled out a paper with an article from last summer. I looked down and I realized why the name Kori Bryant sounded so familiar. Kori Bryant was the woman who died, along with her nine-month-old baby, in the tornado that hit Murfreesboro last week.
I had been thinking the name must have just resembled that of the basketball player, so I tried to push it out of my head. So I had a shock as I read through the article and reexamined the picture. The realization of who Kori was hit me. I worked with her for a day in Cool Springs last year at the "Staycation Expo." She worked for the city parks and rec and I for the park service; we were there to represent tourist activities in Rutherford counties on behalf of our respective agencies. (You can see the article here. We are on page 16).
I think the word "sunshine" could best describe Kori. She had a bright smile and engaged with those who approached the table with cheerfulness. What we talked about ranged from hairstyles, to interior decorating, to schooling and working, to crazy families, to futures and more. She had recently found out that she was pregnant and was very excited about her new baby. We talked about the crazy ideas we had about being "grown up" when we were kids and how things are different and how odd the concept was of starting our own families. We were two extraverted twenty-something-year-old females, chatting up a storm. We connected for the day, but didn't keep in touch. I think we were too tired from the day.
I don't know why she stuck in my head. My job allows me to meet lots of people. Maybe because our lives were so similar in many ways, and yet she was where I wanted to be in many ways. She was starting a family and kind of inspired hope in me that one day I, too, would do the same. So now realizing who she is has created a huge empty feeling in my gut. Why did that have to happen to her? Why do I feel so sad to know Kori passed, when the chances of meeting her again were so slim? Regardless of my knowing her or not, a young mom and baby died, so why did it take the personalization for me to get so upset about it? Now I feel almost guilty that I didn't feel as sad as I am now before I knew who the two were who perished. And now I am dealing with all of this. In an empty house. By myself. Which is probably the best way, since I don't like verbalizing my feelings when I feel like crying. I'd rather just cry by myself then move on with life. And now you know.
Tomorrow is a new day with fresh beginnings. But I still have to deal with tonight.