remembering amanda judice

Amanda and I, freshman year of college, at our first Pine Pal Party.

In what seems to be becoming a daily, morning ritual, I checked my Facebook News Feed last Thursday to see that day’s list of birthdays, and there it was. Her name. Amanda Judice. She would have been 24-years-old.

Amanda’s birthday indubitably sneaks up on me from year-to-year, and from year-to-year, my reaction remains the same. I am instantly overwhelmed. Physically, it’s a heart-dropping, stomach-churning, brain-warping thing to see her name there in the birthday list. A total shock to the system. Emotionally, sadness and despair mingle with fear—fear that I’m not devoting enough time to friends and family; fear that I’m not doing enough for others; fear that, instead of traveling the world or doing something truly worthwhile, I’m sitting at a desk in an office. It is a basic and very real fear of squandering the good health and life I’ve been so tremendously blessed with.

But then a photo of her brings me back. Amanda’s senior picture is taped to my bathroom mirror, so she greets me every morning when I get ready. Her image translates those fears and doubts to motivation, inspiring me to make the most of my day, to call my mother and tell her I love her, to complain a little less, and to only take on endeavors that I’m truly passionate about.

As you might surmise, Amanda and I weren’t close to the point that I had her birthday filed away in my hectic brain. Many people out there knew her better and perhaps even loved her more. I wish I could record everyone’s memories of Amanda and store them in a universally accessible location. How beautiful would that be? I use the word “beautiful” because Amanda was just that—breathtakingly beautiful inside and out. I feel very confident in assuming that each person’s recollections of her would be filled with light, laughter, nostalgia and every positive description in between. Having gone to school with her from the age of five to twenty-two, I can safely say that my time spent with Amanda falls under one, if not all, of those adjectives. Girl Scout meetings, birthday parties and after-school trips to Maggie Moo’s gave way to high school dances, sorority exchanges and one extremely fun trip to Lake Bruin.

And while Severe Aplastic Anemia took her life in February of 2010, she still adamantly lives within us—those individuals fortunate enough to have known her or be affiliated with her in some way. Her Facebook profile is one mere demonstration of this, as a heart-warming and heart-wrenching collage of birthday wishes and photos engulfs her Timeline.

Amanda’s legacy is further animated through a new outlet: the Amanda Judice Delta Omega/LSU Memorial Scholarship, set up through the Tri Delta Foundation. Allocating funds on a merit and financial need basis, this scholarship will provide support for undergraduate members of the LSU Tri Delta chapter. I think Amanda would be supremely pleased to know that her life and legacy will aid her fellow Tri Delta sisters for years to come. If you’d like to donate, click here and select the “Undergraduate” option.

So Amanda, if you’re listening, let me just say that I miss you and I think about you often. I’m sure you get that a lot, but I’d like to think that every time someone tells you they miss you or love you, it’s a prayer, simply asking God to take care of you.

Quote of the day:

“A friend who dies, it’s something of you who dies.” –Gustave Flaubert

Comments

  1. Josh adams says:

    I had the privilege of meeting Amanda when I transferred to STM after Hurricane Katrina, and out of 3 high schools, college, and all the other endeavors I always find myself thinking of this great person we lost. She was so brilliant and beautiful, I tear up every rim she comes through my mind. Seems she made this impact on many people.. I know she is in Heaven and knows how many lives she has touched. -JA

  2. Lauri Gilder says:

    I loved the article… and actually all of your posts!!! You are awesome Rebecca Alexander!!
    Love you… Miss Lauri

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