On June 15th, 2008, our world lost one of the most beautiful, compassionate, inspirational young person that I have ever has the blessing of knowing. We lost Amanda Jones. Most of you know the story of Amanda, how her strength, faith, and beliefs inspired me and thousands of other people to be a better person. She meant the world to my best friend, Sam, and I was able to see the light and joy of Amanda because of Sam. I would like to post both a poem and a story that I have written for Amanda.
Even at your darkest times, your light shined through
How could someone with so little left
Have more strength than the rest
Your hope is what made you real
And carried you when you couldn't take another step
You always talked about your big dreams
And how they'd helped you
I pray that now all those dreams
Can finally come true
Most of all you taught to believe
To believe in love, music, and family
Your belief in faith and friendship
Brought so many close to you
Through all of this you became a hero
Someone we all needed in our lives
Because of you we've learned
When you add a little belief to your hopes
and dream, there's nothing left to do
“Amanda Jones”- Written by Megan Carolin July 2008
The second is a short story that I wrote…which…parts of it are true or based on true events. My hope for this story is that people understand how important David Archuleta is for Sam, as well as how amazing Amanda is.
David rolled his luggage down to the lobby of the hotel where he met up with Jason. “What’s wrong, kid…you look like you just saw a ghost...did you have another one of those dreams?” Jason questioned. David nodded and gave a weak smile. Ever since June, David has been having the same dream night after night. In the dream, he is sitting at the piano singing “Angels”. A beautiful girl with long brown hair is always sitting next to him, with tears rolling down her cheek as she sings along. In the dream, she disappears when the song is over. David has told Jason and some of the others about this dream, but he has never told them about the voice he hears. Several times during each day, a girl’s voice whispers to David. It is usually encouraging phrases such as “you’ll do great tonight” or “you’re a star”. Sometimes the voice tells him what to do, and always reminds him “I’m here for you. I’m your angel”. David has been blaming hearing voices and his dreams on the lack of sleep and intense work schedule on the American Idols Live! Tour. However, he knew deep inside that this girl was his angel and that she was somehow connected to his life. He just didn’t know how.
That day, the tour was making a stop in Indianapolis, IN. After the buses pulled into the venue, David went to the dressing room to say a silent prayer. He loved meeting fans and performing, but sometimes anxiety got the best of him. Please help me get through today…help me do it with confidence and help me to touch someone’s heart today, David prayed. The girl’s voice answered immediately “You will meet someone today who will link you to who I am. Put a smile on and have fun. I’ll be watching over you.” David looked around furiously, but saw no one. He knew that this voice was his angel…and that she had been helping him get through the tour. He needed to know who she was. David went outside to greet the screaming fans. He decided that he was too scattered to take pictures with anyone today. She said I will meet someone today that will link me to her...I have to find this person...David thought as he signed autographs and thanked fans for coming out to the show. David approached a beautiful blonde girl with bright blue eyes. She seemed extremely friendly and handed him a gift. He couldn’t help but look into her eyes for just a little longer than most fans. She was calm and having a good time with her friends...not screaming and crying like most girls do. David couldn’t talk to her or her friends very long before he got shuffled along by the security guard. Soon time was up and he had to march back inside to get ready for the show. While waiting for his turn on the stage, David went through all his gifts he had gotten outside. He started putting them into piles of donations and things he would keep. The last gift was the John Mayer Live DVD. “Oh my gosh!” David exclaimed out loud. “Do you KNOW how long I’ve wanted this?” He demanded at Carly. He didn’t wait for an answer before he placed it in the pile of things that he would keep. He frantically searched for a card or a letter so that he could thank whoever gave the gift to him, but he couldn’t. Before he could think of what to do, David was being pulled to the stage to get ready. As he waited for Syesha to finish her set and his piano to rise out of the ground, he quickly surveyed the audience. He spotted the blonde girl and her friend from earlier immedialty. Sing to her…the voice whispered. As David began singing “Angels”, he looked out at the blonde girl whose face was full of tears. She was singing along so proudly, and her friend was smiling at both David and her. It was one of the best performances he’d ever done on tour. David thanked his secret angel quietly as he took his final bow on stage. He met up with the rest of the contestants in the After Party Room. After talking to a few fans he looked up and there was the blonde girl and her friend. “Did you get my gift? It was the John Mayer DVD” she asked. “THAT WAS YOU?” David exclaimed. He didn’t know what had gotten into him, he’s never that outgoing with her fans. She nodded and went onto say “I wanted to let you know that the song Angels means a lot to me…my good friend Amanda Jones passed away this summer from cancer. You were her favorite contestant and that was her favorite song. So every time I hear it, I think of her.” I told you…her name is Sammie Amanda whispered to David. David was so overjoyed- Sammie was the girl that knew his angel, and he now knew who is angel was- Amanda Jones. David wanted to say so much to Sammie, but all he could get out was “Thank you so much for telling me that” and reached out for a hug. As the girls made their way around the room, he couldn’t help but watch as they interacted with his idol friends. He made a mental note to ask Chikezie about them later, since Chikezie squeezed the guts out of Sammie’s friend. Soon David was ushered out to meet fans by the buses, but all he could think about was Sammie and Amanda. When he got on the bus that night, he immediately opened his lap top and googled “Amanda Jones”. What he found was astonishing. She had only been 21 years old and had passed away from cancer, like Sammie said. She had kept an updated online journal where she would tell everyone news on her illness. She must have been in so much pain, he thought.
She also mentioned American Idol a lot. David smiled when he read her entry about his Angels performance. The fact that it meant so much to her and helped her through her illness made him so proud. He continued to find information on Amanda, including many touching poems and stories about what a wonderful friend she was. She had a big connection with many American Idol fans and there were many beautiful pictures of her with season 6 contestants. David read one story about how a woman had put a picture of Amanda in her shoe while running a marathon because Amanda was her inspiration. I’m here…I’ll always be here,Amanda whispered. David said out loud on accident “thank you, angel”. “Who you talking to, man?” Chikezie kidded. “No one..” David answered, embarrassed. “Hey Chikezie, did you meet a girl named Sammie?” He questioned. “Yeah..and her friend Megan. They’re from Michigan. They will be at the show in Detroit”, Chikezie answered. Awesome…maybe I can formally thank Sammie…David thought as he drifted into a deep sleep. That night, David had another dream about Amanda. This time, she was singing at center stage while he sat and played the piano. When he woke up, he thought about how singing must be Amanda’s dream, and she’ll never get to do it. He couldn’t help but feel guilty about that, but made a silent promise to dedicate every single performance of Angels to Amanda.
The buses pulled into Detroit on Wednesday where the idols were once again greeted by tons of screaming fans. In the middle of the line, David came face to face with Sammie and Megan. He tried to say something about Amanda, but instead “I remember your buttons!” came out. He quickly took a picture with Sammie before being pulled a million different directions to sign pictures, posters, and t-shirts. He walked into the venue and plopped onto a couch next to Syesha. They chatted for a long time about the tour and writing songs until Syesha’s phone went off and interrupted their phone call. “After party passes for Megan and Sammie? I thought I already put them up there. I’ll make sure they get them” Syesha said and hung up the phone. David smiled and said “I know Megan and Sammie too…they knew my angel”. Syesha gave him a funny look before she got up to leave for hair and makeup. Not everyone will understand…that’s okay, Amanda whispered. Soon it was show time for David and he once again caught Sammie’s eye in the audience. She looked so pleased during Angels, so calm and peaceful. David wanted to reach out his hand to her, and tell her that Amanda was his inspiration. He also wanted to tell her that she was beautiful, but that will never happen with his lack of confidence. At the after party David anxiously awaited Sammie and Megan to visit his corner of the room. When they did, all he could think to do was to start singing Daydream. I probably look so dumb…he thought, but just kept singing. Sammie and Megan exchanged a giggle as they politely asked David to sign posters and pictures. They walked away happy, but David wanted to yell out “don’t go! I need to talk to you!” He just couldn’t find the words.
For the rest of tour, David’s days remained the same. He would dream about singing Angels and Amanda would be singing on the piano bench next to him. When he woke, he would thank her for being with him and carry on with his day. As he greeted fans, he would smile and share general conversation with them. When he was performing, all he could think about was Amanda and Sammie. As tour was drawing to a close, David was beginning to have meetings with his management about his album. He wanted so desperately to include his angel Amanda and his crush Sammie on the album, but didn’t know how. In early September, the tour stopped in Grand Rapids, MI for a performance. As David was outside greeting fans he heard a ruckus coming from a group of girls down the line. He saw Chikezie squeezing the guts out of Megan again and Sammie next to her, smiling and capturing the moment on film. David was so ecstatic he practically ran past all his other fans to get over there. This time, he had a real conversation with Sammie. He didn’t want to walk away but he had to get to his other fans. That night, as David waited patiently to be lifted onto the stage, he turned next to him and saw Amanda. She looked just like the pictures on her website from before she got sick. She had beautiful long brown hair and gorgeous eyes. David was speechless. “How…what..” he started to say. “Shhh. It’s time”. She whispered as the piano was raised. Amanda played the keys to Angels as David sang his heart out. By the end of the song he had to wipe away tears. He turned to Amanda “thank you” he whispered. She gave his hand a light squeeze before disappearing. As soon as David got on the bus that night, he called his manager. “I need to put the song Angels on my record. There is no question about it. I have to do it” David demanded. He didn’t know where this confidence came from, but he liked it. Now that was taken care of, David needed to write something about Sammie. He took out his journal and started to write lyrics about her … “saw you from the distance…saw you from the stage...something about the look in your eyes...something about your beautiful face…” David smiled… well, it’s start, he thought.
Tomorrow, please remember Amanda and her beautiful spirit.