PERSPECTIVE: Olivia Greenlee’s legacy remembered

Cardinal & Cream

By Shannon Guy

Wednesday, Feb. 12, started out with a good morning class, no chapel and a day off. At 10:30 am, all of that changed.

I got a text from a friend asking if I was OK. Of course I was, no more class; then I was sent a news article.

I saw the name “Olivia Greenlee” and immediately my world stopped. I didn’t need to read any more — I knew the news wasn’t good.

Words escaped me and all that came out were tears of disbelief, desperation and complete heartache. I had been talking to her just the day before and now she was gone — but not forgotten.

The Music Department was immediately called into Hartley Hall and was filled with the tears of my fellow classmates. Dr. Chris Mathews, chairman of the department, read to us Psalm 48:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

We are brokenhearted and we are crushed in spirit, but we as a community of believers have the hope of the Lord to cling to, and that’s exactly what Olivia would want from us.

There is not a memory of Olivia that I have where she was not laughing or making a goofy face. Even on my worst days, I could always count on Olivia giving me that winning smile and calling me “Shay-Shay” just to brighten my day.

What I didn’t realize then was that she was truly brightening my life.

I will forever hold dear the multiple hugs, nights in the practice rooms, sitting together in recitals and quick goofy looks in choir. These are the memories and moments I will forever hold dear.

Aside from her contagious and one-of-a-kind laugh, my favorite characteristic of Olivia was her love for the Lord, which translated to her love for children and music.

I first met Olivia at Summer Music Camp and immediately knew she was special. While I did not see her interactions with kids on a daily basis, the times I did see her, she was in her element; it was what she loved, and she taught for the Lord.

Not only did Olivia teach for the Lord but she also sang out with the amazing voice He instilled in her. Her voice could be picked out of any choir because of how pure and beautiful it was, and still is.

Those in the Music Department have all said how we know that she is using her gift to worship God in all of His glory, and we hold onto the hope of one day joining her to worship the true King.

The days following Feb. 12 were filled not only with tears and grief but with hope. The Union community has provided more hope and comfort than I ever thought possible.

The tragic loss of a very dear friend has truly shown the power God’s love has.

Olivia will live on through the songs that we sing and the love that we show. Her legacy is one of complete joy, strong faith and beautiful song.

Shannon Guy is a junior music major with a marketing emphasis.

About Cardinal & Cream 1011 Articles
The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.