That's Cassandra Nicole Bear on the right. That's her friend and roommate, Ashley Fivecoat, on the left. Cassie died the night before last of bacterial meningitis which brought on heart failure. She was so young. Just twenty-two.
And she was so bright and hopeful. At least most of the time she tried to be.
Unfortunately, she didn't have everything to hope for, but she always kept fighting onward and upward.
She worked at the Training Table where she would answer the phone and would fill the drink and salad orders. She was trying to become the first in her family to graduate from college.
She had been in my Institute class at LDS Business College when she was a new little Freshman. She was one of those who wore her broken little heart on her sleeve. She told me and the class right off that she had been sexually abused as a child. She also said she was hopeful that a blood disorder she had was in abeyance.
She told me later she had not yet decided to make a police report on the perpetrator who had been a family member. She wanted so badly to mend, knew that the mending required reporting it to the police, but didn't want to disappoint members of her family who felt that she should let bygones be bygones. I tried to talk her into talking to a detective and sometimes she decided to and then later decided not to.
Dear little Cassie couldn't please them and herself and on she went with so much unfinished business weighing her down that the joy she deserved could not overtake her. Her heavy heart finally did her in.
Well now joy has taken over. The burden has been set down. Until the end she loved God, she loved his Word, she loved taking pictures of the Temple and she loved bearing her testimony. Some souls are so good and it really is in spite of everything, not because of it. You did it so well, Cassie, girl. Peace be with you.