Going to CA this time was different. We got the word that our beautiful cousin Heidi had gone home to be with the Lord. This was devastating on many levels. One, I've known Heidi for 17 years. She and I had a hilarious relationship. We bonded over gmail chats when she was pregnant with her first daughter. Day after day she would be at work "working" and I would be at home "parenting" my 3 SUPER young kiddos. Almost any time anything happened, I would write her a post and the conversation would be started. Months we would chat until she had Josie. She was my confidant during probably the most challenging time of my life. A comfort it was to talk with her almost every hour of her work day. The comedy that ensued...saved my sanity. Throughout the years, many kids later for her....our conversations were then through emails about the struggles, the parenting successes found in the most mundane of situations. It was a special friendship to me. As I sat at her memorial service, her photo that I took when her family came to visit in 2015 was adorning the stage...front and center. It was so surreal for me because I didn't take that photo to be used at her funeral. Like that was not the intention for that image in the slightest. Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing that image because it was a strong image. Heidi, physically was in pain, but in that photo...all I saw was strength. She was a beautiful person. As Josh and I showed up to the family dinner the night before her service, it was weird. I always describe the family as "loud"....and not in a bad way at ALL. Loud to me is fun, exciting, laughter...those are the words that describe loud to me. And Heidi was loud. When the ladies were talking, she was usually in the center of it. I missed her being there. She should have been there. What gets me through thinking about Heidi being gone is that she is having lunch with Daniel today....or walking the streets of gold with Peter asking him what it was like to walk on water. I mean....endless conversations she must be having. But also that she is healed. Totally new body. Amen.
I got to see some of my favorite people on this trip, so .....it wasn't all sad and there is even a pic of ME! hahahahaha, rarely do you see me, but I'm in here :)