I'm not sure where, or how, to even begin this post. I'm going to let my heart do the talking. 

Last Saturday night, I received the tragic, unimaginable news that one of my very best friends, Brittney Granger, had passed away in a car accident that evening. The shock I felt was unlike anything I've ever experienced. My heart literally felt as if it had fallen down deep into my stomach, in a million pieces. 
It still feels that way.

I had spoken to Brittney on the phone just a few hours before the accident. She had tried to reach me 3 times that week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday), and she tried again on Saturday afternoon. I'm terrible with my phone (and Brittney liked to tease me about it). By the grace of God, I answered that day despite Bear's fussiness and need for a nap. We spoke for about 20 minutes and she was so happy, content with all aspects of her life. But that was nothing new, our Beanie (a nickname our college golf team gave each other that stuck) was always on top of the world. Nothing could get her spirits down. That's why, to this day, she is loved by so many. I'm so very thankful I got to hear her joyful, loving voice one last time. That conversation has forever permeated my mind and my heart.

Rewind 8 years to 2006, and here's our story.

I had been at LCU a year when Brittney transferred in from Texas Tech. I still remember the day we met. We were in the gym at our first golf meeting of the semester and learned that Brittney was our newest team member. From that very first handshake, it was all giggles and silliness. We were instant friends. It was that way with everyone Brittney met; her smile was infectious and her laugh would instantly better your mood.

Over the next several years, we spent almost every waking minute together between early morning work-outs, golf practice, and tournament travel. Those memories will always remain some of the best and most fun of my life. That's mostly thanks to Beanie. She was the glue of our team. Everyone loved her. Everyone could count on her. Tournaments suddenly became much more fun and much more successful. We went to Nationals in California for the first time in 2007.

Brittney was our grad assistant for awhile my senior year before moving to San Angelo. There she was the graduate assistant at Angelo State University and obtained her master's degree. She still came to Lubbock often and would stay at my house; we'd have such a blast every time she came. She loved Jimmy John's so that was always our first stop on her visits. During that time, it really hit me how much Brittney made friendships, and people, a priority. It didn't matter if I never went to San Angelo. She didn't keep score. She made time for the people she loved and more importantly, made them feel loved. She had a gift. She was so special and the people around her felt special, too. Anyone I introduced her to instantly loved her and became one of her many, many friends.

Beanie moved a couple times over the next few years, always calling several times a week and keeping our friendship fresh. We saw each other often and every time we picked up right where we'd left off. My favorite of those moves was a temporary one to Houston when she came to work for the Texans. As a football coach's daughter, she loved the sport and could spit out more football facts than most men. We spent lots of time together during those weeks and it was really hard to see her go.

The following June, Zach and I got married and Brittney was my maid of honor. She was by my side every step of the way. On the day of the wedding, when we got to the church, we couldn't find my Mom. Beanie and I were the only two there, but I needed to get dressed for pictures. She didn't hesitate; she zipped me right up. That's the kind of friend she was, always there in your time of need. 

Anytime I was visiting my parents in Sweetwater, Brittney would make a point to come and see us. Often she had to drive several hours out of her way, but she never complained and always greeted us with the biggest, most beautiful smile. Her adorable dog, Dolly, was often her travel companion.

Brittney was an avid Texas Tech fan. I'll never forget the day of Bear's baby shower. It was mid-October and in the middle of football season, so there was a Tech game in Lubbock the afternoon of the shower. Beanie always had season tickets and never missed a game. She hostessed Bear's shower and drove to Sweetwater the night before to stay with me at my parents' house. After helping at the church all morning, she slipped in a back room and changed out of her dress clothes into jeans & a Tech shirt. She came out with her guns up. Her work was done and she was off to see her Red Raiders. Pretty sure they won that day, too.

When Bear was 5 weeks old, we went home to Sweetwater for Christmas. Brittney and her sweet Mom, Shana, drove through Sweetwater to meet Bear. The second we put him in Brittney's arms, he was so at ease. He knew his Aunt Beanie's voice already and she had such a way with little ones. She loved him and it made my heart so happy to see them together.

Over the next year, Brittney made 2 trips to Houston. We referred to those times as "Beanie Reunions" and had the best time shopping, eating at the Cheesecake Factory (our favorite!), and cuddling with Bear. Our close friend, Elissa, drove in too and we stayed up late reminiscing and telling stories of our LCU golf days. Those moments were magical and I'll never forget the connection she had with our baby boy. I'm so thankful he got to meet our precious Brittney and I know that she will always be with him. 

It is my prayer that Bear will grow up to be like her, to love like her, to spread happiness and hope as she did. Her legacy lives on through the lives she touched and the way she loved. For Bear to be like Brittney would be the greatest gift to Zach and I as parents.

I could tell so many more stories. I could elaborate on the time we dressed up in ridiculous outfits with rollers in our hair, for absolutely no reason, to go bowling. I could tell you about the time we hid in the bed of my little brother's truck for an hour just to jump out and scare my Mom. I could talk about the time Brittney went all the way across the state to be at my brother's wedding and dropped everything to serve people during the entire rehearsal dinner. That's the kind of person she was.  

There will never be a day that I won't miss my Beanie. There will never be a person here on Earth that could ever take her place. Life will never be the same without her in it, and my heart will never completely piece back together. The only light in the darkness, the only hope that keeps me going, is knowing that I will see her again. When that day comes, it will be the best Beanie Reunion of them all.

The impact that Brittney made on my life and the memories that flood my mind will continue to guide me through each day. The way in which she loved me, my family, and my son have touched me to my core and have set an example of the person I want to be.

I'll never eat another Cadbury Egg without crying. I'll never swing a golf club without remembering her 300 yard drives. I'll never go bowling without thinking of our "White Trash Bowling Bash". I'll never watch the Masters without yelling "Scott is Hott!" in her honor.
But most importantly, I'll never stop missing my Beanie. I love you forever, Brittney. I hope there are endless Cadbury Eggs in heaven.
Rest in peace my sweet, sweet friend.