Saturday, August 21, 2010

Taste the Rainbow: Hannah's story

Hannah Banana. She was something else. When she was little, I was a teenager, and she liked to follow me around, chattering like a monkey on steroids.

One time, I just needed a break. People often needed a break from Hannah. Like I said, she was something else. When she wanted something, she wouldn’t let go. What Hannah wanted more than anything else was attention, devotion, and love. Anyhow, I was saying... I needed a break. So, I found a closet in Granny’s house. And I squeezed in with all the shoes, bags of brand-new underwear, slips, and who knows what else (my grandmother collected things for emergencies. You never knew when someone would need a slip), and just sat in the dark and quiet.

It wasn’t long. Maybe thirty seconds, before my solitude was interrupted by a curly headed boy. Hannah’s brother Matt.

“What are you doing?” he asked.
“Hiding from Hannah.” I answered with utmost honestly.
Matt climbed on my lap and declared he also needed a break.

Hannah kept up that intense energy throughout her childhood, but she blossomed into a gorgeous young girl, eager to be loved, and devoted to making the world a beautiful place.

The one thing that strikes me most about Hannah is how much she loved to make things beautiful. She loved hair-dos, she loved makeup, she loved fashion.

But Hannah wasn’t artificial. She was just simply gorgeous, and she wanted to share that beauty with everyone.

One time she told me I should always wear bangs. “Here.” She said, after taking a pair of my kitchen scissors to the front of my hair. “Here. Isn’t that so much better?” “And you really shouldn’t leave the house without mascara. It makes your eyes so beautiful.”

I was an adult when she gave me beauty advice. Married already, with two children, and broiled over with the fugliness of early motherhood.

Hannah was 15. High-strung, slighty flightly, but with an inner kindness that sought out prettiness wherever she could find it. Hannah, made me feel beautiful. And I wore my hair with bangs for years afterwards.

Hannah tried to make everyone feel beautiful. It’s what she did. It’s who she was.

Hannah loved sparkly things. She loved rainbows, and music, guitars, her family, me, my children, and life. Because those things were beautiful to her.

I would venture to say that now her life is so full of beauty that she can’t even stand it. I bet she is downright blinded from basking in the glow of her gorgeous new home.

Because Hannah lives in a mansion now. Built for her by her Heavenly Father. She is prancing (because that is what she did- prance) down streets glowing with gold.

Hannah was killed in 2006. She was in an automobile accident and she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

Seatbelt promotions are not new. But “Buckle up for Hannah” focuses on teenagers. Because teenagers don’t think about that one time they slip the seatbelt off to root around in their purse, look for something under the seat, or scootch over just a bit to snuggle with a boyfriend.

Teenagers need a reminder of the importance of buckling up, not just for “almost all of the time”, but for every second they are in a moving car.

The one time Hannah did not buckle up, she died. And her family wants to help other families, by telling her story.

Buckle Up For Hannah has been able to pass new safety laws for teenagers, put reminders in the form of bumper stickers on cars across the nation, and raise awareness to teenagers by telling them Hannah’s story.

Now, my family has another opportunity to raise awareness. It’s through a contest and we need votes.

Here is the link. Please vote everyday! EVERY day!

For some reason, the link chooses to be difficult sometimes. While I try to fix it. Hannah's car is under causes and is on the second page of most popular. It is easily recognizable with a rainbow seatbelt!

Vote away.

And please, buckle up.


Beth said...

I voted for buckle up for hannah

Anonymous said...

I voted for Hannah too. Pretend I am not family.

Tara said...

Voted last week, voted today and shared the link on facebook.

Anonymous said...

I think Tara is family

FruitfulJenn said...

I voted.

Anonymous said...

I voted, but I'm family. I'll keep voting. Love you. Aunt Denise

Kelly said...

Voted for hannah. My oldest son is 15.5 and I can not tell you how many of his friends get in the car and just don't buckle. Such a tragic loss that could be prevented.

Max Denson said...

I voted and am going to post your link at facebook if you don't mind.

Matt & April said...

We both posted on our facebooks!! What an incredible thing your family is doing. All the best.

Kaycebob12 said...

I voted twice

FruitfulJenn said...

voted again-- really hope you win!

Beth said...

I voted yesterday but forgot to post, when I was voting this morning my son said, hey I saw that on the news!! Yay!! we are getting the word out!!

Anonymous said...

I voted Becka. What a wonderful way to continue a life that was taken from us so early. And, yes she had a beautiful voice, one that put Taylor Swift to shame. Thank you for sharing her with us. Ken :)

Shawn said...


Tara said...

Voted 4 more times. :)