“Why I Ride for Merritt”

by Elizabeth Atwood

Personal Interviews in a Series for Merritt’s Way & TextLess Live More

Why I ride…  because there are so many uncertainties in life, but a beautiful, healthy, fit young girl making it safely across the country on a bike trip should not be one of them.  Because in a few short selfish meaningless distracted minutes a young man took the life of one of our best and brightest girls ever.   Because Joe and Hunter should not have to go the rest of their lives without their big sister, and because Rich and Anna should not have to walk this path without Merritt, who was the most by-everyone’s-side-always person. I ride because Merritt never let anything stop her, not diabetes, not mean girls, not anything.  I ride because Merritt was the most generous friend to my daughters, wrapping them up in her joy and warmth.  I ride because Merritt  was loyal and kind and fun and sparkly and adored and taken away way too soon by the most capricious and thoughtless of acts.  I ride because we still cannot believe that the world has to exist without Merritt in it, and this is an ache that is tempered only slightly by time, but never, ever goes away. I ride because I am grateful for Merritt’s life, her way-too-short, but ever-brilliant life.   I ride because Merritt would ride, and she did.

Emmie Atwood helped launch a campaign at Milton Academy to have teens put down their cells phone once a month.

Emmie Atwood (left) here pictured with Merritt Levitan, helped launch the TextLess Live More campaign at Milton Academy. Emmie’s older sister, Olivia Atwood (not pictured) and Merritt were best friends since kindergarten. Olivia Atwood and Merritt graduated from Milton Academy in June 2013.

You can help Elizabeth reach her goals to support Merritt’s Way and TextLess Live More by donating to her Ride here: http://trinity.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?iev . . .

Thank you!