It didn’t matter who it was, the pattern was nearly identical every time.
Old or young. Male or female. Every single shade of skin that exists in the melting pot that is Michigan State University.
They came on bikes. They came in cars. They rode the bus. They walked.
No matter who they were or how they had gotten there, as they approached The Rock – east of Farm Lane just north of the Red Cedar River, in the heart of the MSU campus – they would fall silent.
They would take some time to look at all the writing. The mostly black ink filling in nearly all the white space around the main message: MSU loves Lacey. They read what others wrote and tried to formulate what they were going to write.
If they could find a blank space. The canvas was filling up, after all.
The day after the rock had been painted at a candlelight vigil in honor of Lacey Holsworth, Spartans continued to stop by and add their own personal message to the defacto memorial for a little princess who was taken from us way too soon.
I did so myself. In a little crevice on the north side of the rock. I could fit only 3 letters, together the size of my thumbnail.
As is the tradition at MSU, the Rock will most likely be repainted. It may take a long time in this case but eventually the rock will continue to grow, one layer of paint at a time.
Since its placement by the class of 1873, the rock has been repainted hundreds, if not thousands of times. Sometimes the paint job would last a week or more (9/11). Other times it wouldn’t even last a day.
So, in all likelihood, the Rock will be repainted. But if I had my way, it would go like this:
The Rock would remain a tribute to Lacey for 8 weeks (one week for every year of her life). After that 8 weeks was up, the Rock would be painted bright white and left to stand for another 8 weeks.
All of those personalized notes would forever be a part of that rock, absorbed into its actual being as more layers are added on top.
I believe that it is important to remember what was said though. To that end, the pictures below represent a snapshot in time (approximately 2pm on April 10, 2014) of the Rock.
A snapshot of the outpouring of love that a player – then a team, then a campus, then a city, then a state, then a nation – had for a little girl named Lacey.
God bless you, Holsworth family.
God bless you, Adreian Payne.
Thank you for sharing your daughter/sister/best friend with us.