How Taylor Swift Quietly Helped a Teenage Fan Deal With Her Sister's Sudden Death
When Katie Beth Carter was killed in a car accident, the superstar did more than just bring comfort to the grieving family of one of her fans: “She has helped us share Katie Beth’s life story with the world”.

On the afternoon of Labor Day 2016, Jacksonville State University freshman Katie Beth Carter and her younger sister Kimi were driving to Chattanooga, Tenn., blasting Taylor Swift’s “Long Live” and singing at the tops of their lungs. The closing track from Swift’s 2010 album, Speak Now, was Katie Beth’s favorite. Less than six hours later, the 18-year-old member of the JSU Marching Ballerinas dance line was driving alone back to campus when her Honda Accord collided with an 18-wheeler. She was pronounced dead at 6 p.m.

For Kimi, 16, Swift’s music provided strength in a time of unspeakable pain. But even she was shocked when, at Katie Beth’s visitation, a friend thrust his phone in front of her: On a GoFundMe page set up to honor her sister and help cover funeral costs, Swift had donated $5,000 and left a note that read, “Kimi, no words can express how sorry I am for your loss. I know that you will keep Katie’s memory alive. Please know how much I am thinking of you and I’m saying a prayer for your family. All My Love, Taylor.”

“Somehow, Taylor Swift reached out to me exactly when I needed it the most,” says Kimi, sitting with her father Jason and mother Amy in the living room of their home in Ringgold, Ga. An aspiring singer-songwriter who began teaching herself guitar and writing songs in the fourth grade after her grandmother took her to her first Swift concert, Kimi recalls the power of that moment. “I felt more at peace. Katie was up there, pulling strings for me, trying to make this a little easier to get through.”

The Carters later discovered a friend had sent Swift’s publicist an email, asking if the pop star might consider sending Kimi a message on Instagram. Instead, Swift found the family’s GoFundMe page. “We’ve all learned to love Taylor’s music through the years,” says Amy Carter. “Our daughter was known as ‘Kind Katie.’ And with a small gesture to a family she had never met, Taylor Swift demonstrated that same kindness. It’s the act of reaching out to someone in their darkest hour and saying, ‘I’m thinking of you.’ There’s so much power in a random act of kindness.” (This year alone, Swift has given more than $1 million to causes ranging from flood victims in Louisiana to wildlife in Africa. She declined further comment.)

In the Carter family’s living room, there are photos of Katie Beth on the mantle: her high school senior portrait in which she strikes a dancer’s pose in a river; a glamorous dance squad shot from her first JSU football home game; and what would turn out to be the last photo she would pose for, a selfie of Katie Beth and her siblings snapped just before she left the house to drive back to school on the afternoon of Sept. 5.

“I want to remember the way she was on that last Thursday night, when she got to dance in the first home football game of the season,” says Amy. “She was radiating this confidence and joy. That’s how I want to remember her life.”

As for Kimi, just a week after Katie Beth’s death, she quietly celebrated her own 16th birthday. Her best friend gave her a bracelet in the shape of sound waves from Swift’s “Long Live.” “As I was opening it, she said, ‘It isn’t much,’ ” recalls Kimi. “When I saw what it was, I just started crying. I told her, ‘It isn’t much? It’s everything to me.’ ”

I don’t know how I never noticed the way
You drained every ounce of me,
Stripped me down to my naked core
And ignored my exposed, helpless self,
No matter how much I begged
For your affection.

I don’t know how I was blind to
What everyone else could see-
The way you tore at my mind
And left your poison to drown my life.
Yet somehow at the same time,
Made me believe you genuinely cared.

But people who love you,
don’t destroy you,
And after taking everything you’ve thrown at me, Cutting the strings that held me tight against you
seems so much more possible.

And I’m no longer afraid to let go,
Turn my head and walk away
From the one that turned
All of my colors to grey.

—  Nicole Torres // requested; Letting go of a toxic person

anonymous asked:

ok i just thought of a genderfluid and bisexual jane and i just. can't stop thinking about it. this is it. this is forever my new shit, and i dont care if the fandom is going to scream at me, telling me that shes cis and/or a lesbian. this is the real deal for me and theres nothing yall can do about it

sorry guys but this is also my new thing now

bisexual genderfluid jane is my passion

its the reason I breath and the reason I wake up in the morning

It’s funny really, how it all falls together. We’ve always had something special. Something that could have been more than just something, that never worked its way out. We’ve always been friends, growing closer as the years go on. And every year, the time comes around when we fall for each again and again, walking to class together and talking late at night. But in the end, neither of us are brave enough to make the move, and we fall just to break ourselves. I tell myself it was just another crush, I’ll never let myself fall for him again. But the next year I find myself in the same situation once again. Time after time, I start to realize this. That maybe you’re the one. Maybe because we keep gravitating back to each other every single school year, you’re the one. It’s pretty funny how it all falls together in the end. But hopefully we’re not falling together just to fall apart.
—  I started to think//maybe he’s the one. 10.27.16