Saturday, November 5, 2011

I will never be the same....

This is a post, I wish I never had to make.  
Words I wish I never had to speak.  
Tears I wish I never had to cry.

Many of you have been following along as I have posted several times over the past 8 months about my sister-in-law, Ali, on facebook.  Many of you have offered prayers for her and were a part of the fundraiser we held for her this summer, thank you for your prayers and support.  

Two days ago, November 3, 2011, I woke up to a rainy day, I mean, it was really pouring...but I was feeling a good day coming on - I even posted on twitter the following words, "Gonna be a good day, started with eggs, toast, quiet time & Alison Krauss - that is, after I got my crazy two year old out of the house :)"  
I love to listen to Alison Krauss when it rains.  
Work has really piled up on me for the past couple of weeks, I feel like I have been drowning in it.  Clark's grandmother offered to keep Grant so that I could try to make a dent in my big long list of things I had to do.  I got Grant out in the rain and started her way.  Before I could even get to her house...the call came.

"If you want to see Ali alive, you need to come today."

My heart stopped.  
My throat closed.
I began to sob.  

Let me share a little bit about Ali. 
I don't have to even tell you all she loved pink.  You already know that.
But I'll tell you anyway....Ali loved pink.  I loved when I drew Ali's name for Christmas, she was one of those people, anywhere you are you can see something and say, "That is SO Ali."  She was the definition of girlie-girl.  All things pink, polka-dotted and monogrammed.  She loved to wear flowers in her hair.  We shared a love for decorating, for holidays, for shopping.  

This is us shopping on vacation years ago.

She was so classy.  In the summer she always wore skirts and dresses.  And always looked her best when we went out for dinner.  She made sure Ben looked his best too.  

This was the year that I made her buy these capris because they were so darn cute on her.  It took her a while to talk herself into it, but she finally did it.

She loved babies.
Babies loved her.  
She wanted like ten....seriously.
Any time the family got together, she had a baby in her lap.  She was such a "mom" even before she was a mom.

She could sweet talk Ben into anything.
Even this...

She loved to read.
For every occasion she got the kiddos books.

This is the book Griffin received from her one Christmas.  It is his favorite book, "Smash Crash", and we have to read it almost every night.  

She was so full of life.  
We would stop at yard sales so she could buy an ugly out of date dress to add to her costume/dress-up stash.  One time we stopped and she went for this terribly ugly green dress...and said, "Oh, this is perfect for St. Patrick's Day."  And I would reply with, "Seriously!?"  Who was I kidding...she could pull off anything, with that big white smile and beautiful blonde hair.  
She was so sensitive....just like me.  Only because she had a heart the size of Texas.  
Yet at the same time, she didn't care what people thought...if she wanted to wear cute frilly aprons in the kitchen and stars on her head for 4th of July, then she was gonna do it.  Other people were just missing out.  I loved that about her.

She was dear to my heart.  My sister-in-law, my friend.

I shouldn't have to write "Ali was" "Ali did"  "Ali loved"  I wish more than anything I could write... "Ali is" "Ali loves"

We got to the hospital a little before 7 on Thursday night.  Got to her hallway, and saw her family talking with the doctor about options.  Ben led the way as we went in to see her.  We walked in the room, and she made eye contact, she was fighting for her life, lifting her head up to catch a breath as if she was in water and the level was rising.  I immediately started to sob uncontrollably, and turned around to walk away because I thought to myself, "She wouldn't want me to see her like this."  But I couldn't leave...I turned back around and right then and there, her heart stopped.  That quick.
The doctor walked up right next to me, and said in a whisper, "She's gone."  I replied, "What?"  And she shook her head, she repeated..."She's gone."
In anguish we all cried out in prayer to God, "Please, save her."  The room flooded with everyone in the family, all gathered around as Ben held her head in his arms.  We begged and pleaded.  Her heartbeat began to start again, very slowly...only to stop once again, for good.    
  She was done fighting.  The Lord had come to save her in her distress.  He had called her home to be with Him.

How do you move on from that?  How do I move on from seeing her that way.  Seeing Ben as he held onto her.  Seeing Olivia, her one year old daughter, as she hugged her Mommy for the last time.  
How will we ever...I don't yet know.  

We all went to stay the night with Ben, so him and Olivia wouldn't be alone.  He came home to a house fully decked out for Halloween...Ali went all out for each season.  He opened a package that was laying on the table...a pair of slippers that Ali had ordered for herself.  
I have never felt so helpless in my life.  I've always been the type of person to want to make things better, and I wanted to help Ben so badly, and I know all of us did.  But there was nothing we could do, but love him.

Ben....we will love you through this.

This whole time it has been so hard on me to live so far from her and Ben and Olivia, I have felt so helpless.  I was supposed to stay with her the week before, spend the day with her, and work was so overwhelming and I had deadlines to meet, and so I told her I couldn't make it, and I would "reschedule" for the next open day to help her.  I don't get that day now.  I wish I could go back so badly and change that.  Life is so unfair.  

It's unfair that Clark just walked in the room with a black suit on, trying it on to see if it will fit for her funeral, when the last place he wore it was to be the best man in her and Ben's wedding two years ago. 

I will never be the same.  
Ali has changed me forever.  
I truly know that the only moment we own, is the one we are in.  
I will love deeper.
 I will try to live life to the fullest.
Buy my children lots of books.
Not raise my voice out of frustration.
Wear cute and frilly aprons at Christmas.
Snuggle with my three boys, every.chance.I.get.
I will draw closer to the Lord.
I will fear death even less, because I know she is already there, waiting to greet me.  
And it won't be hard to find her....
she'll be the angel with big pink wings.

I know you know how much I love you and I miss you so terribly, Ali.  The only comfort my heart has, is knowing you are completely whole and full of unspeakable joy with our Heavenly Father in much joy that even if you could come back to us, you wouldn't.  Your legacy lives on in us all.  
I will never be the same.   


Ali has an amazing family. 
 Her youngest sister, Melanie, wrote her a's beautiful. 
 To read, click on the following link