COLUMN: Motes’ legacy to inspire generations

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

Laced with a red ribbon around the stem, a white rose sat in an otherwise empty chair during Coosa Valley Academy’s graduation ceremony celebrating the class of 2021 on May 13.

Surrounded by 24 filled chairs of graduating seniors, the rose symbolized the presence of someone important to each of them.

Back on Dec. 13, 2020, the senior class at CVA was rocked when they got news that Lindsey Motes had died in a car accident at 18 years old.

For a small school, each student was like a family member to the others, making the news difficult to take during what was supposed to be a special final year of high school together.

A cheerleader, softball player and an involved student, Motes had her impact on many during her time at Coosa Valley, which made her absence at graduation another difficult moment to process.

But CVA Headmaster Pam Lovelady knew the school needed to find a way to help celebrate Motes during the school’s graduation ceremony.

So a white rose, which was given to each graduating student, was laid on a chair remembering the life and legacy of Motes.

Her mother, Jennifer, then accepted her daughter’s diploma to officially make her a Coosa Valley graduate.

It was an emotional moment, but an impactful one.

When you look at all the goals Motes had for her life ahead, you would think she still had so much to accomplish as a nurse following in her mom’s footsteps so she could impact as many lives as possible.

But when you heard the words spoken about her at the graduation ceremony, and when you felt the presence of what she meant to everyone in attendance, you realized how full of a life she had lived.

And all of a sudden, that white rose became more than something to fill her seat. It became a symbol for her impact in a full 17 years of life.

With a servant heart, her goal was to make someone’s day better every day she woke up, and for 17 years, she did just that.

Now, her legacy will continue to make the impact that she dreamed of. While she won’t get to do it with us here on earth, the way she chose to live her life will help her do it from above.

Her impact has driven many to replicate her kindness and find ways to be as compassionate as she was with her life.

Because of that, the influence of Lindsey Mote’s life is just beginning.