Teen Memoriam Stories

Madeline Morris

“Taylor dozed off just long enough to drive the suv off the side of the road.”

Madeline (“Madie”) Rose…our beautiful, smart, kind daughter, sister, and friend. Her smile was effortless, genuine, and beautiful. Madie had a quote in her bedroom that said, “Kindness is the essence of greatness,” and that’s exactly how she lived her life.

She was a very hard worker, especially when it came to school. In elementary school, she tested in the bottom quartile in reading for three years. Madie made a commitment to do her best and become one of the “smart kids.” She wanted so badly to go to college at Brigham Young University and had to work extremely hard to get in, but she did it! Madie was preparing to serve a mission for the LDS church and was so excited that she would be able to go when she turned 19. We know she is serving her mission now, just not on this earth.

Early in the morning hours of November 20, 2012, Madie, her older brother, Taylor, and his fiancée, Bailee, were driving to Arizona from Utah to celebrate Thanksgiving with Bailee’s family. Taylor was driving with Bailee in the passenger seat and Madie in the back seat behind him. No alcohol was involved. Everyone was properly wearing their seat belts. Taylor dozed off just long enough to drive the SUV off the side of the road.

Bailee was able to get out of the car and reach her cell phone to call for help. She propped Taylor up to drain the blood from his lungs while they waited for paramedics to arrive. He had broken his neck and back. Madie was killed instantly.

I remember the morning with preciseness, every detail leading up to the officer at our door…the piano lesson I taught, the room I was going to finish painting that day. I remember the things he said, the trauma of my world spinning uncontrollably around me. My head was screaming…how could you be lying in a morgue? How could Taylor be near death on his way to a hospital? Taylor would eventually make a full recovery. But our lives will never be the same.

One of the hardest things is the things that will never be. I find myself wishing that my life could be like someone else’s, that Madie could be leaving on her mission now as planned, and that she would return afterward, go back to college, eventually get married, and have children.

We believe God needed Madie for a bigger purpose than any of us can understand. However, it is still extremely difficult to understand why our sweet Madie had to return to her Heavenly home. This world was better because of her and now we are all left to try to fill the void that she left.

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