It’s so hard to believe that Hannah would be 22 this year. It’s weird how the memories of her journey feel like yesterday, but when I think of the last time I saw Hannah, it feels like a lifetime ago. The beautiful thing is - when you keep the memories and the thought of her close, it seems like time hasn’t moved, that nothing has changed.
Hannah was the type of person that you could never forget. Her spirit and soul left an everlasting imprint on all of us. It’s easy to think about her in the little things like driving by a soccer field, walking into the Pinebrook deli, hearing a contagious laugh, coming across a familiar freckled face, seeing the color purple, or watching a beautiful butterfly on a sunny day. But her memory goes far beyond symbols - the strongest part of it exists in the way we all carry ourselves differently because of her. Hannah is the part of my soul that was changed back in 2013. Her story was a turning point in the not only the way I viewed life, but the way I lived it. So even in the moments where there aren’t physical symbols representing her, Hannah’s spirit lives on through all of the people that she touched. If you want a glimpse of Hannah, take a look at all of her friends and you will find her in the way that we all live.
When I think of Hannah, I can’t help but smile. Although she is physically not here, I have carried her with me through every milestone and journey. When I graduated college back in May of 2019, I held my Hannah ribbon tightly. I remember sitting in my chair during the ceremony, and with the sun shining brightly, I looked down at what other people saw as just a ribbon. But it meant so much more to me. It meant I was carrying Hannah with me through one of my proudest moments, knowing that she was shining down through that sun saying, “you did it Hager!”