For the Love of Andrea
Last Saturday, Andy’s parents called and told us that the stage collapsed
at the Indiana State Fair, right before Sugarland was set to perform. They were concerned that maybe Jen or some of my best friends were there. Luckily, they weren’t; however, my mind immediately went to the excited facebook statuses of several girls from my hometown who were at the show, some of whom had seats super close to the stage. I quickly turned my laptop back on and facebook stalked their profiles until it seemed like they were all okay. I went to bed that night concerned about the tragedy that had occurred in my home state, but comforted by the fact that everyone I knew was safe. My heart completely sank on Sunday morning when I woke up with news that some Pendleton girls had actually been injured.
One of the most critically injured of all was Andrea (Voss) Vellinga. She graduated from PHHS a year after Jen and I. Though I wish I could call Andrea a friend, she was probably more of an acquaintence. On my last several visits home though, it seemed that I would run into her at random places and she was always quick with a smile, a wave, and a “hi”. I’m not sure I ever saw her without a smile on her face. She seems to love life, and especially her family (including her 4 year old daughter) and friends. Our parents have a connection too as my dad went to high school with Andrea’s mom. In fact, while most of the day is a blur, I distinctly remember her mom, Sandi, and brother, Tyler, offering comforting words and smiles at my mom’s funeral visitation. They’re such a great family and have been rocked to the core with the tragic events that unfolded August 13th at 8:49pm.
A true testament to the kind of person Andrea is has been shown in the the outpouring of love, well wishes, and prayers on facebook. People are reconnecting from all over the world with one goal in mind – supporting Andrea through her healing and recovery process until she is able to go home to her sweet daughter and husband.
Not just that, but the entire town of Pendleton has been painted pink, Andrea’s favorite color. Pink ribbons are everywhere! I’ve even joined in…here’s my pink ribbon wreath in honor of Andrea! Instead of hanging up just one pink ribbon, I decided to hang an entire wreath of pink ribbons on my front door in Georgia.
Isn’t it pretty? I made a similar wreath last Christmas and got the instructions for making it here. It’s really easy to make (just requires a lot of ribbon). I’ve had a lot of comments regarding it, and it’s even been posted on the For the Love of Andrea website. Please visit this site for updates on Andrea, as well as ways you can help. Also, even if you don’t know her, PLEASE take a moment to say a prayer for Andrea, her family, and friends. Thank you!