Few of us get to accomplish what we set out do in life, but in her too-short years on Earth, Rebecca Townsend of Connecticut did.
From The New York Daily News:
A Connecticut teen was struck and killed by a car as she saved her friend’s life, tragically completing a “bucket list” she’d written for a high school assignment.
Rebecca Townsend, 17, had written a letter to her future self in December 2012 as an assignment at Immaculate High School in Danbury, Conn. Her sisters found the piece of paper, including her three-item bucket list, on her bed shortly after she died July 2.
“Kiss in the rain,” she wrote. “Fly to Spain. Save a life (not really scary though).”
The gifted teen had completed the first two items of the list, with a trip to Spain with her parents and after sharing a rainy kiss with her boyfriend, Niko.
The third was her final act in life. Rebecca shoved 17-year-old Benjamin Arne out of the way as a car barreled towards them about 9 p.m. that night in Danbury.
Townsend is the subject of a moving photo essay at Buzzfeed, which included this picture of the future Notre Dame student (now at the rememberingrebecca Instagram account):
One of the things Rebecca was most excited for about attending Notre Dame this fall was participating in @shesthefirst, a charity helping girls in developing countries access higher education. Rebecca led her high school’s chapter of She’s the First and was very passionate about the organization. Rebecca’s peers at Notre Dame started a fundraiser in her name for She’s the First. Their efforts will keep Rebecca’s memory alive and benefit a wonderful organization. To contribute to the Notre Dame fundraiser, see the link in profile. ??
A photo posted by Rebecca Townsend (@rememberingrebecca) on
From Rebecca’s obituary:
Rebecca loved theater, fashion, travel, and helping those around her. She was passionate working with children and made a difference in many lives through her volunteering at Head Start and starting a chapter of the charity “She’s the First” at Immaculate. When she wasn’t baking cupcakes for a “She’s the First” fundraiser, playing volleyball, or trying out the newest fashion trends, she could be found onstage or behind the scenes in many of Immaculate High School’s drama productions.
Her happiest memories were her adventures with her family traveling around the world, spending time back in Brookfield with her friends, and her extended family trips to Cape May each year.
Her Mass of Christian Burial took place on Tuesday, July 7, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Brookfield, Connecticut. Celebrants were the Rev. George F. O’Neill, the pastor of St. Joseph, and the Rev. Jeff W. Couture, spiritual director of Immaculate High School, where Rebecca attended.
She was buried in Newtown Village Cemetery in Newtown, Connecticut (yes, that Newtown).
Also from the obituary:
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions to the Rebecca Draper Townsend Memorial Fund, made to Immaculate High School, 73 Southern Blvd., Danbury, CT 06810, a portion of which will be allocated to the non-profit “She’s the First,” to help educate girls in the developing world.
From John: Chapter 15:
11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
12 This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.
15: I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
16: It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
17 This I command you: love one another.