Emily “Em” Grace Young lived a full, and very happy life. She was loved by so many, and she loved just as many. Kind, loyal, and an all around great person, Emily was adventurous, and she was a total adrenaline junkie. Roller coasters were Emily’s favorite thing in the world. Even in her older age, she would find the biggest coaster in any park she visited. They say life is like a roller coaster, it has it’s ups and downs. In Emily’s world, there was never a down. Even in the worst of situations, she always looked at the positives. Emily loved dirt bikes, when she was a teenager, she would ride for hours on a warm summer day. Her smile shined like the sun. This is probably why we nicknamed her sunshine.
When Emily and I were in our prime, we always had the best times together. We played basketball together, partied together, and we were really good friends. She was always there for me, and I was always there for her.
As Emily and I graduated high school and were ready to move on to the real world, we had very different plans. We parted ways. I was attending Davis & Elkins in the fall, and she was leaving for Navy basic training a few weeks after high school graduation. We always kept in touch. We wrote letters back and forth throughout her boot camp. She would tell me how things were going, and how many cute boys were in her unit. I would always giggle to myself when I would read what she wrote me because that’s just who Em was, she loved to make people smile. Especially the people she loved.
Emily had 2 sisters, Natalie and Amber. The were all three very close as they were growing up. They were like the poster-child sisters. They barely ever fought. They were the rare sisters that everyone wish they knew, and were.
Em made a life out of the military. Right out of high school. She wanted nothing more than to be out on the water, on a ship.
Em found the love of her life out on that boat. His name was Alexander West. Em would always tell me all of these stories about how she was so happy, and he was so good to her. It definitely made me smile to see her glow like she did when she talked about him. She was happy like no other. He proposed, and they had the most beautiful beach wedding. It fit them perfect, they literally lived on the ocean. I had never seen two people that loved the water more than them. I was Em’s maid of honor.
When Emily was about 24, she found out she was pregnant with her first child, she was ecstatic. She called me from Italy, I think it was. You couldn’t have picked two better parents for a child. We all knew that kid would be loved unconditionally. I had never seen Emily happier than the day she found out she was having a baby boy. Emily had always talked about having nothing but boys. She wanted them to do everything Alex did, football, wrestling and baseball. 9 months later, a beautiful baby boy was born. Emily and Alex decided on the name Braxton James. She had that name picked out since we were in the 6th grade.
Emily was so different from anyone I had ever known. She would swim across the ocean for someone just because they asked her to. Her kindness was as pure as the snow that fell from the sky. She was one of the few people that put the people she loved before herself. She thought their happiness was way more important than her’s. Emily’s smile was so vibrant, it could literally light up a whole room. Her laugh was one of a kind, she had the occasional snort that would just make everyone laugh even harder. It’s no wonder her nickname was Sunshine, she was definitely a ray of it. It wasn’t just because she had that beach blonde hair every girl wished they had. She had it so good, because she made the best out of every situation. She was just that kind of person.
Great things, but especially great people, do not last forever, that’s for sure. At the frail age of 86, Emily passed away at her home of natural causes, peacefully with her loving family surrounding her. Her vibrant smile, laughter, and happiness will be missed most of all. She lived everyday like it was her last, and that is why she lived such a fulfilling, happy life. If everyone lived like her, we would all completely fulfill our lives. We loved her, and she will most definitely be greatly, greatly missed.