*This is the letter I wrote to OSU for my request for catastrophic withdrawal. Please take time to read. It gives a glimpse into how much Layne meant to me and explains my decision to take the semester off.*
To Whom It May Concern,
I am Hannah Darr, an agricultural communications senior. I am writing this letter in regards to being granted a catastrophic withdrawal. My fiancé and OSU student, Layne Meriwether passed away on February 5. This is our story:
Layne and I’s lives were intertwined at an early age. I moved to Waynoka, Oklahoma in 1st grade. We attended school field trips together, were in 4-H together, and later FFA. When I was a freshman in high school (2010), Layne asked me to go on a date with him to “fifth quarter” after the football game. I was so nervous that the cute, junior running back was asking me on a date! At first I said no, but I gave in and we were inseparable ever since. We loved doing everything together. We ran track together, gave speeches together, showed animals together and more. Layne even worked for my parents. We loved traveling, fishing, shooting guns, working cattle, cooking and spending time with our brothers. Wherever one of us was, you were sure to find the other.
Fast forward 6 years to April 15, 2016. That is when Layne took me to our favorite fishing spot on my family’s land and asked me to spend forever with him. I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world, but if you looked at his huge smile and bright, shining eyes locked on me, you could see that he thought he was the luckiest guy in the whole world. This past year has been full of wedding and life planning. My house is full of all my wedding decorations just waiting for my wedding day that will never come. Layne and I had planned our lives out and even bought cattle together. We said it is pretty serious when you buy cattle together. We knew what land we would eventually build our house on and even our future children’s names. Big plans and big dreams that we will never get to carry out together.
Many would say Layne and I had a fairytale kind of love. We had a love that many spend their whole life trying to find. It was patient, kind, and unconditional. I will forever miss how Layne always looked at me with such love and adoration. We understood each other in a way that no one else could. We both loved reading, learning, traveling and agriculture. We pushed and motivated each other to be the best we could be. Most importantly, we love and accepted each other for who we were. Layne was a man of God, uplifting, intelligent, driven, compassionate and strong. Luckily, we knew how much we meant to one another because we told each other every day. He made me feel loved, wanted, secure and confident. There will never be anyone else like my dear Layne.
Layne and I both attended OSU, and while we didn’t live together, we spent every day together. We worked out together, made lunch and dinner together, did homework together, and just spent time together hanging out, watching TV, and so much more. This semester we even had a class together. It was every Monday and Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. and also a lab on Monday. Our other classes got out at the same time on Tuesday and Thursday, so this semester it seemed like we were together all the time. I can’t bear the thought of walking to my 8:30 without my best friend by my side and then sitting in the 4th row by myself with an empty seat to my left where he would normally be. It pains me to think of getting out of my class on Tuesday and Thursday at 4:45 p.m. and have to walk alone without Layne to greet me with his loving smile and strong hug after a long, hard day.
After Layne’s passing, I have been trying to find my new purpose and my “new normal.” I have been trying to find how God wants to use this to influence and help others. I’ve also really depended on the love and support of my friends and family. I lost my best friend, my rock and my soul mate. I didn’t just lose my soul mate, but my brother lost his best friend, roommate and brother. My mom lost a friend, history buddy and son. My dad lost his best companion, right-hand man, cattle consultant and a son. I along with my family are not sure how to go on without him, but we are learning how. My family needs me right now, and I need them even more. I attend church every Sunday with my family. Also, I attend Grief Share at my church on Thursdays, and it has helped me tremendously. I need to be home to stay involved in my church which has played a huge role in my steps towards healing and my “new normal.” I know after time spent with family, studying the word of God, traveling, and being home helping on the farm, I will come back in the fall stronger than ever. I am determined to finish strong, but right now I just don’t have what it takes to do that. I need time for healing. I need time to figure out who this new me is without the person I have loved and depended on for 7 years. I have been a 4.0, involved student, and I plan to continue to be that student if allowed the time needed to heal and recover. It is with sorrowful tears that I finish this letter. This was extremely painful and hard to write, but I hope it give you a small glimpse into how much Layne meant to me. Thank you for your time and consideration.