I met Madison in October of 2013. We were standing on the sidelines of a Joliet Catholic football game when she introduced herself to me by saying, “We’re going to college together..let’s be friends!” During those four quarters, I learned so much about Madison. I learned that she was truly and completely genuine. She cared about what I had to say, even though we had only met hours before. She wanted to know everything about me, and I her. Although we were technically strangers, we talked like we had been the best of friends our entire lives. And that’s what she turned out to be – my best friend.
Over the next couple of months, Madison and I became extremely close. We just clicked. Although we didn’t get to see each other very often, it didn’t matter. When we did see each other again, it made up for all the lost time. I remember the first time I went to her house, we were supposed to go to a Halloween party. We spent hours getting ready, took a million pictures (of course) and were about to walk out the door when we got a phone call that the party had been cancelled. In other words – every teenage girl’s worst nightmare. We were so bummed out, but it ended up being okay because we had way more fun stuffing our faces and dancing around her kitchen.
Madison and I were going to be roommates at the University of Alabama. We shared a love of football and southern boys, and the excitement to start the next period of our lives together was unreal. We would send each other pictures of things to buy for our dorm, and Madison made sure her college Pinterest board was perfected. We were ready.
On the morning of May 27th, 2014, I got a call that changed my life forever. It was around 7:30, and I was fast asleep. My phone would not stop ringing, but seeing as I am the exact opposite of a morning person, I tried to ignore it for as long as I could. Finally, I answered. Within seconds my life was ruined. Madison was gone. I ran to my parents room screaming hysterically, and just collapsed into my mom’s arms. It just didn’t make sense. It still doesn’t make sense. Sitting here right now, I still don’t believe it. It feels to me like Madison is just at home in Channahon and I’m in Joliet and we just haven’t seen each other in a couple of weeks because we’re too busy with school. But no. That entire week just didn’t feel real to me. Going to visit her family, talking to her other friends, explaining it over and over again to people who asked me questions. None of it was real. It will never be real to me.
It’s been a little over four months since the last time I saw Madison. It was about two weeks before that day. We were at a baseball game at JCA and Maddy came to see us. As usual, she arrived with Starbucks. She always bought an extra drink, just in case someone else wanted something. Not many people are that thoughtful. Anyways, a bunch of us were messing around in the gym, playing basketball and just goofing around. Madison knew only a handful of the people who were there, but you would have never known it. She talked to everyone as if they were her best friends, and was just so sweet to the complete strangers she was surrounded by. I don’t think I will ever meet anyone else who feels as comfortable around strangers as Maddy did. That was the last time I saw her. We texted a few times here and there over those next couple of weeks, but not much. We weren’t too worried about it – we had all summer to hang out. We had college. We had the whole rest of our lives ahead of us.
May 26th, 2014. I was at my friend Alyssa’s house, a group of my friends were there hanging out and watching the Hawks game. I was having a conversation with someone about college and Madison came up, and I distinctly remember that I was going to text her “I miss you!” However, I was distracted with my friends, and I never got around to it. I wasn’t too concerned about it though, because like I said – we had the whole summer ahead of us. We had college. I would see her, I’d have another chance to hear her voice.…
Not a day goes by that I don’t regret not sending that text. I could have had a final conversation with her. I could have told her I loved her and I missed her and we could have talked about how excited we were to see each other. But instead, I watched the Blackhawks play. I don’t even like hockey….
However, I know Madison isn’t mad at me for not getting one last conversation in. We had our time together, and that’s what was meant to happen. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I know that the reason I met Madison that fall night in October was because I needed her. I needed an angel in my life to show me what true friendship is, and how to love and care for people, and how to be one hundred percent myself without worrying about what other people think. That was what Madison did. She showed me that there are still beautiful, wonderful, intelligent, amazing people in this world. Madison Angus was an angel here on Earth. She has always been my guardian angel, from the second I met her. She is the reason I believe in second chances, and forgiveness, and true love. Every person who met Maddy will tell you the same thing – she was wise beyond her years, in every aspect of life. She would put a convicted felon before herself if the scenario arrived. She loved everything and everyone. Some people didn’t realize how perfect Madison was, but I did. She was different than everyone I have ever met, but in all the best ways possible. I would do anything to be able to spend just five more minutes with my best friend, but I know I will see her again when I am meant to.
As a wise man, Albus Dumbledore, once said, “Do not pity the dead. Pity the living, and above all, those who live without love.” We shouldn’t feel bad that Madison moved on at such a young age. She had enough love in her heart to last an eternity… which is what she has now in the most amazing place with the most amazing guy. If anyone deserves the magic and power and bliss of Heaven, it is my best friend, Madison Angus. I know my angel is truly at peace with everything now, and that makes me happy. I will miss Madison forever, and love her for always, and I cannot wait for the day our paths cross again. Until then, Mads, I love you more. Roll Tide.