Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tribute #9: Courtney Vanderbilt

There was one thing I was sure of in high school. I was going to an out-of-state college. In the end I did end up going miles away from home, 10 miles to be exact. Determined to still get the “college experience” I lived in the dorms my freshman year, and it was in Wonders Hall that I met Courtney Vanderbilt, though at the time she was still Courtney Smith.

I liked Courtney the second I met her. She was friendly, outgoing and warm. She also had a quiet confidence that I really admired. Courtney was truly a ray of light my freshman year, and as I got to know her it became clear that she drew strength from God and family- particularly her mother Marsha.

After college Courtney and I lost touch, but thanks to Facebook, reconnected. I was able to virtually celebrate her accomplishments- a Master’s degree, a happy marriage, but I also got a window into her hardships. When I learned Courtney lost her mother my mind raced back to freshman year and all the wonderful stories I had heard about her mother.

During times of loss it’s easy to lose faith, to be mad at God, to question why. Though I know losing her mother was probably the most difficult thing Courtney has ever faced, her faith never once faltered. She continues to draw strength from God and family.

Courtney, thank you for providing me with an example of living faith. You inspire me with your devotion. I am saddened that your mother is not physically with us, but to borrow a sentiment from one of my favorite songs, “She lives in you.”

Today's Musical Selection > 

Courtney shines light everywhere she goes

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