A year ago today my mom came over to visit our new born babe when she received a devastating message from a close friend, "please pray for Bianca, she might not make it."
For those who don't know, Bianca-Anne Harper Agherdien, was a former Miss Port Elizabeth and the darling of the city. She was crowned Miss PE in 2010, and wore the title with pride, serving the people of Port Elizabeth during and well after her reign. Well known for her big heart and being involved with community projects, she was one of those kinds of people who lived the same life "behind the scenes" as she did in front of the camera and I've always admired her, her natural beauty and the brave way she stood for what she believed in.
Bianca-Anne was involved in a tragic head on collision on 11 November 2014 and passed away on the 13 November 2014 at the age of 28. My daughter was 13 days old.
Now, to set things straight: unlike the rest of PE (it seems), I never had the privilege of spending time with this amazing young women or her husband, Anver, or any of her family members, for that matter. But it was clear to see that she was respected and admired. People were drawn to her and wanted to be around her. Her language was always filled with positivity and she had a naturally kind heart, with pure intentions. Her friends have shared that she was adventurous, to a degree, but that she also loved to be in the comfort of familiarity - her home, her friends and her family. Her pics showed me that she knew how to look good. She took care of her appearance. But other pics gave away that she also did not mind getting messy, if it meant that she could help someone in need; or bedecked with paint, for a moment of fun with her friends. I knew that she was educated and saw education in a serious light. I knew that she loved the Lord. I knew that she was loved and that she loved to love others.
Wow, that's a lot of stuff to know about someone you don't really know.
Her death was a huge tragedy in our local community and so many were impacted by it, because of her beautiful nature and also because of all that she represented. Bianca-Anne represented hope, and that hope was passed on to us, as we prayed for her recovery. So it was a huge shock to us when we heard of her passing. My mom, sister and I sat in silence and disbelief, almost whispering as we tried to make sense of it all, hearts breaking for the loved ones of this remarkable young lady whom we've never met before.
I remember looking at my precious baby girl, suddenly feeling amazed at the circle of life. A baby girl is born, a young woman is taken away. No one is immune to death, no matter how incredible or loved they are. Life is a gift and tomorrow is not promised. What are we leaving behind? Her passing was a reminder that there is a bigger plan and purpose for each life.
I couldn't help but feel that the death of this beloved beauty queen and my little girls new life to be connected somehow, in my heart. It was like someone dumped a bucket of ice water over my head. It was a wake up call - a reminder to live a life that would inspire and motivate my own daughter. As Bishop T.D Jakes so eloquently said: "It's not what you leave to your children, it's what you leave IN your children. Start thinking generationally, prepare the way for them.
Because of Bianca-Anne Harper Agherdien, I suddenly wanted my daughters life to mean something - not that I didn't before - but there was now an urgency; an almost desperation to make sure that my girl lives her life with purpose. I want her life to add value and leave behind legacy. I want my curly to be the kind of woman that others would look up to and learn from. I want my daughter to feel loved to the point of overflow, where she is able to effortlessly love those around her... even those who some deem as unlovable and unwanted. I want her to know her worth. I want her to take risks. I want her to fight for what she believes in. I want her to be a blessing to others.
Curly at 8ish months old
And so, as I looked through Facebook today, I am reminded, yet again, of the beautiful life that Bianca-Anne lived and the many things that I am trusting God for my own daughter, because of her death.
God is always intentional. And although He has given this hopeless human race the huge responsibility of CHOICE, He is always standing by, waiting to turn our bad situations into good... if we let Him. I know that many see Bianca-Anne's death as a huge tragedy - and it is! It is such a huge loss to society, her friends and family members - But God, in all His cleverness and compassion, has turned it around for good by using her life as a testimony to others. He is faithful.