Remington was born August 3rd, 2001, in Wichita, KS. She was a sister, a daughter, and a friend as perfect as they come. Through elementary, middle and high school she was a cheerleader at Cheer Eclipse All-Star Cheer and Tumbling Academy. She was a member of the National Honor Society and lettered in both cheerleading and academics. In college, she made her dreams come true and cheered at The University of Kansas, winning the UCA Collegiate National Championship in 2021. She loved food, iced coffees and coke. She loved watching movies, hunting with her dad, cuddling up with her mom, a fun night out and never said no to a good shopping spree. She loved going to California with her mom, Amy. The beach was Remi’s happiest place, a trip that she looked forward to each year without any less enthusiasm than the year before. Remington always wanted to help others, from close friends to complete strangers, which led her to pursue a future as a physician’s assistant while attending the University of Kansas.
Anyone who had Remi in their life never once had to question if they were loved. To know Remi was to know unconditional love in its more pure and selfless form. Her smile was contagious, hugs incomparable and her soul as radiant as the sun. She made the world a better place and every person’s life she touched was left better than she found them.
Remi connected with each person she met in a way that made them feel seen. She had the ability to read you and understand your emotions and react in ways that made you feel understood. She always had a way of finding those who were reserved and poking them in just the right ways to make them open up. Her sense of humor was second to none, she had an inside joke with everyone she knew. She was welcome in any circle of friends instantly. It did not matter how long you went in between seeing Remi, it was like opening the door to home every time you were around her.
Remi had a smile so contagious it could warm your heart on your darkest of days. She could help you grow flowers in the darkest part of you. That contagious smile and encouraging personality paired with her athletic ability made her a perfect cheerleader. She made it her full-time job to smile and encourage others. This was a job Remi did well, maybe even too well. In and out of her cheerleading uniform, Remi provided others with that constant contagious smile, open arms, and constant encouragement. All aspects of Remi pointed towards a happy, healthy, and cheerful life, and that is the way she wanted it to be.
If you asked 100 people to describe Remi, depressed most likely would not have been a descriptor used by any individual. To others, she was a light, a lifeline and a saving grace but behind closed doors, she was a girl fighting a very dark disease. She had the ability to put on a front allowing others to believe she was as happy as any individual could be. She always held others at the center of her attention but was unfortunately pouring from an empty cup.
Remington battled mental health throughout her life. Like life’s struggles, it came in waves. The unfortunate truth is that to every smile and laugh she had during the day, there were tears and feelings of anxiety, being overwhelmed, fear of disappointing others and sadness at night. There were thoughts and feelings in her head that no matter how hard she tried, she could not escape from. While she could have the best day, that could be followed by the most painful night.
Mental health affects those whose smile can light up the entire universe. Mental health affects those whose laugh can fill your heart. Mental health affects those whose hugs can make you feel whole. Mental health affects those who you would least expect.
45,979 people died by suicide in the United States in 2020. That is 1 death every 11 minutes. 12.2 million adults seriously thought about suicide in 2020, 3.2 million adults made a plan and 1.2 million adults attempted suicide (CDC.gov).
It’s okay to not be okay and seek help when struggles seem too much to bear. If you take anything away from Remington’s story, let it be to smile often, love unconditionally, hug others tightly and know you are never alone.