Classmates, friends remember Ashley Cartier at Ashville parade
ASHVILLE - AL —
"[She] was happy all the time," Kaitlyn Bowling said.
Bowling remembers the smile. The radiant personality.
"A joy to be around," she said.
She remembers her friend, 17-year-old Ashley Cartier.
Cartier was killed August 30 when her car collided with a school bus. Police say she was blinded by the sun.
"In the three years she was here, she touched so many lives and I want people to remember her by the lives she touched," Bowling said.
So, in this year's Ashville Homecoming Parade, Bowling and classmates remembered Cartier with a special float.
"Pink was her favorite color," Bowling said. "She loved pink."
Pink balloons, pink ribbons, pink crosses...all for their friend who couldn't be here for her senior homecoming.
"To show our respect for Ashley and what all she's done for our school and what all she's done for everybody that she knew and the lives she's touched," Bowling said.
One life she touched...Kristen Shockley.
"It's just not the same," she said. "It just feels really weird without her. It feels like there's a hole in the whole school."
She says she and Cartier had been fighting for months before Cartier's death. Nothing major. Just high school stuff. Petty stuff. Stuff that now is too late to fix.
"The one thing I wish I could do is just tell her I'm sorry for everything and that I loved her," Shockley said.
But this parade and this float erases all that. It focuses on the good times, the smiles, the laughs and the friendship.
"It makes me feel better about everything, because we were so close," Shockley said.
And, in standard parade fashion, candy was thrown to the crowd. But on this float, not just any candy. It was Cartier's favorites.
"That was something she loved, Kit Kat's and bubble gum," Bowling said. "So, we're going to throw that off the float. Something for her."
Something for her. That smile. That radiant personality that will always be missed.