Essay from Chase Ridenour – Nothing was the Same

They say God gives his toughest challenges to his strongest soldiers, and getting past the pain of losing one of my closest friends was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. It seems as if everyday as I walk through the halls of school I hear someone bring up Deviny Boese, and I can’t help but think that I could’ve done something to make sure she was still here with us today. Her death made me realize you can never take a second for granted because it could all be gone the next. A simple fun day on the water turned into one of the worst days of my life. The day Deviny passed away, nothing was the same.

It started the Tuesday morning of June 17th, 2012, when my best friend and the closest thing I have to a brother, Brandon, called me and asked if I wanted to go tubing with him, Sara, Noah and Deviny. I told them I could come as soon as I dropped my sister off at the beach. As I was driving back from dropping her off I went past Brandon’s house and saw 11 police cars outside and his next-door neighbors standing around with the look of fear on their faces. I hurried home to park the car and sprinted back to Brandon’s house. After speaking with the officers and his neighbor I heard the worst news of my life; they had not waited for me. Deviny and Sara were on the tube when it swung away from the boat and hit a dock, throwing Deviny and Sara from the tube. Sara hit her leg on a boat lift and Deviny went head first into a pole. Brandon, the driver of the boat jumped into the water as soon as he saw what happened. He tried everything in his power to save Deviny who had broken her neck and suffered internal bleeding as well as many other injuries. It was not enough. As emergency personnel rushed to the scene at the Redington Shores Yacht Club, there was nothing they could do. At 1:11 pm June 17th, 2012, Deviny Boese, a beautiful girl and one of my closest friends passed away.

At first, I was in disbelief. I couldn’t grasp the fact that she was gone. I figured there was no way one of my close friends had lost her life in the bay right behind my house with my best friend driving the boat. I was supposed to be with them! The thought of me being there and maybe being able to change the outcome of that situation haunts me all the time. The insurmountable pain of losing her was something that will never leave me. There is emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As bad as it was for me I knew I had to stay strong for my sister who cheered with Deviny, as well as the rest of my family and friends who knew her. But most of all, I had to stay strong for my brother Brandon, my best friend since I was 2 and the kid I know will have my back no matter what happens to me in life. I stayed at his house for about a week and a half just to make sure he was doing okay. We both didn’t sleep for about 3 straight days; too much going through both our heads. I still can’t imagine what goes through his head everyday. He told me a story about the 4th day after the accident when he finally fell asleep with the help of sleeping medication. He woke up in the middle of the night to see her standing at the end of his bed. This was not a dream. We still talk about it whenever he is feeling down.

To put in perspective how great of a human being Deviny was, over 300 people came to her viewing and funeral. She was loved by everyone at Osceola High School, as well as her cheer gym, Rock Solid. Everyone has their own stories about their times with Deviny, but our past is especially unique to me. Earlier in that year, Deviny and I almost dated. I think that may be one of the reasons I took her death so hard. I had genuine feelings for her and wish I could go back to those times. We had been friends since Pre-K, both going to Seminole United Methodist. We had been in the same schools together all the way up until her death. We always had a great time in school together and she sure knew how to raise some heads around the school. Everyone knew who she was from one thing, her smile. A smile that you could see from a million miles away it was so bright. There was one other thing everyone knew her was if you were walking down the halls of school or Rock Solid and felt someone grab your butt, it was Deviny. Her strange obsession with butts was something that everyone could tell you about. She was always a positive person and there was never a boring time to be had when Deviny was around.

Even though she is gone I honor Deviny in my everyday life. I always have a red band around my right wrist with her name on it so I know she is always with me. I have never taken it off. Even when I have basketball games I wrap it around my ankle braces so I know she is with me on the court as well. I have a picture of her in my car to keep me safe on the road. Before every game I lean against the wall during warm ups and say a quick prayer to her. It’s my way of speaking with her before the games. I know she is always watching over me making sure I’m always okay and doing the right things. I live my life everyday the way I know she would want me to, with no regrets.

As painful as this experience was for me, it taught me a lot. Her death taught me to live everyday like it’s my last because you never know when it could be your last. It made me stronger in general as a person. I had to grow up real fast due to what happened. My adult instincts kicked in when it came to having to comfort my friends and family during this terrible time. I put everyone else before myself and did the best I could to make everyone’s pain a little less. Deviny will never be forgotten. Her physical presence may no longer be here but her memory will forever live on. There is not a day I don’t think about her. Since she’s been gone, nothing was the same.