Amelia Academy Senior Sarah Pomfrey Delivers Chapel Talk
We all have a story to tell, said Sarah Pomfrey in the opening of her Chapel Talk, delivered on February 6 before her fellow students, faculty, family, and friends. “Today, I will be telling you my story . . . about a tragedy that changed my life forever and made me who I am today,” she said. Sarah chose the Chapel Talk to talk publicly about the event, something she has not done since December 15, 2012.
On that day, her family attended a Christmas party in Montpelier. Sarah said that she remembers having fun with her extended family members. “We were on the way back home, on a dark, country road, when suddenly our vehicle hit a tractor trailer that was parked horizontally in the road,” she remembered. The next hours went by in a blur as she and her family were transported to VCU Medical Center.
Sarah, her younger brother, and her father were not seriously hurt in the accident. However, Her mother and older brother, Andrew, had sustained injuries. Despite this, Sarah said she remembers thinking that “everyone would be fine.” Later, she was told her mother had suffered a broken ankle and other injuries, and Andrew was severely injured. Then, she said, “the unthinkable happened. My dad told me that Andrew was not going to make it.”
After Andrew died, Sarah said that she and her family were grateful for the support of their Amelia Academy family. “They held a prayer vigil, visited my family, prepared meals, and performed many other extraordinary acts of kindness,” she said. A tree was planted on the school grounds in Andrew’s memory along with a sign near the baseball field. In addition, the Andrew Pomfrey award was created for the baseball player who “demonstrates hard work and dedication for the game.”
Sarah said that she will never forget the Academy’s love for Andrew, and she expressed her gratitude on behalf of her family.
As a fifth-grader, Sarah wondered if her life would ever be the same. “Before the accident, I was a hyper ten-year-old who got in trouble for laughing and talking [in class],” she said. Sarah spent time with friends, including her best friend Madison Barnard, and “was satisfied with making average grades.” She and her family spent many weekends traveling to Andrew’s baseball games. Even though her faith in God was part of her life, she did not know “God’s unconditional love for me.”
Her life today represents the changes that have occurred in her life, Sarah said. Over the years, she has worked hard to earn good grades and plans to attend nursing school next fall. Admitting that she is sometimes considered a pessimist by other people, Sarah said she is working hard to become more positive.
Her close-knit family remains a source of support and love. Her younger brother, Aaron, who just turned five, “has brought so much joy to us and is a true blessing,” she said.
Sarah shares a common bond with several classmates, Madison, Brent Carwile, and Ryan Anderson, all of whom have attended the Academy since kindergarten. “They are a very important part of my story,” she said. They have been good friends, showing kindness and making her laugh. Sarah credited another friend and fellow classmate, Lexi Easter, with teaching her “to have fun and not take things so seriously.”
Throughout her story, Sarah said that one thing has not changed. “God has been with me the whole time.” Quoting Romans 8:28, she said, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Knowing God’s love for her, Sarah said that He has a plan for her life. This certainty helps her deal with stressful moments when she reads the Bible verse.
Sarah concluded her story with the hope that her audience will feel encouraged by her story and know that God has a plan for their lives as well.
As a student at Amelia Academy, Sarah has maintained the highest academic standard, earning an A in every class since ninth grade. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club. Sarah has served as a class officer each year as well. She has been a member of the Science and Bible clubs and the Yearbook staff. As a student-athlete, she played volleyball and ran cross country.
Attending her Chapel Talk were her parents, Lynn and Chris Pomfrey, and her brothers Hunter and Aaron. Also in attendance were her grandparents, Carol and Ray Webb, and her grandmother, Betty Pomfrey. Other family members present were her aunts, Kandi Pomfrey and Jenny Ruppert, along with her cousin, Ben Ruppert. Also among the guests was family friend, Pam Pollock.