Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy Birthday Ally!

photo session

My wedding

Our first cruise

Our first cruise

My little squishy


What I'm sharing is sacred to me.

Some days, I just need my sister.  I know she’d know what to do, I need her patience, and humor.  I’m the big sister, and I rarely admitted I needed her.  We fought like sisters do, but when we got along, we got along and laughed and nearly(okay, maybe sometimes did) pee our pants(a little).  Her laugh was contagious and even if I was pissed off at her, she’d still make me laugh because she was so funny.  She laughed at herself, she made people feel comfortable and like they were the most important people to her, and she found a way to make a personal connection with everyone she met, like an inside joke only shared between the two.  She wasn’t afraid to be goofy or to dish it back if you gave her crap.  She gave everyone multiple chances, she didn’t understand the word, “grudge”.  She also loved people something fierce.  She was your cheerleader and blocker all in one.  She wasn’t competitive so she was self-motivated.  She backed you up, hated drama and bickering, and wasn’t afraid to walk away from friends when they were fighting without picking sides.  And then it was like it never happened.  She was quick to forgive and forget.  She was super excited to finally pass big sis up in height, shoe, and bra size.  The hair was always bigger with adequate amounts of hair spray, lots of blonde, fluffy hair.

On September 25, 2013, I took my oldest daughter to the airport to serve a mission for our church.  On our way we had to stop at the Stake President’s office for her to be officially set apart as a full-time missionary.  It was about 6:30 so it was cold.  We all went into the office and met with him and talked about missionary work, and I kind of expected Ariel to change her mind.  But, something very special happened while the Stake President began the prayer.  We all had our arms folded and eyes closed.  I literally felt like there were people walking into the room, I could even see the room grow brighter through my closed eyelids.  I opened them to peek and it was still just us.  No one else was looking up like they felt the same thing I did.  But I closed my eyes again and I could feel the warmth of hands on my shoulders, I recognized them.  They were Ally’s, and a very calm, peaceful sentence came into my mind, “I’ve always been with them.”  I knew she was my childrens’ guardian angel.  I know those that pass on visit, but I felt she rarely left.  It was an instant, almost tangible event.  I hadn’t even been thinking about Ally having been so wrapped up in getting Ariel prepared to leave and the talks, open house, and final details that needed to be done before she left.  That experience left me nearly speechless for the next few hours.  We pulled over to an empty lot before we pulled up to the gate to give final hugs and take a picture.  Then when we pulled up to the gate she got her bags and left us.  Just walked right in through those glass doors with a big smile and a few tears.  I expected her to run back and jump in and scream, “Go!  Go!  Go!  I changed my mind.  Go!” 

I sat silently while we made our way back home and typed up my experience that happened that morning right away.  I finally told Todd through tears and he said he realized I was processing something big, but he hadn’t had those same feelings.  I started an email to Ariel to tell her about my experience too but didn’t send it.  About a week later I sent it and finally got a response from Ariel.

“Man do i have a lot to tell you. I hope i can get it in in this short time. Where do i start though? Okay so last friday and saturday were kind of rough. I dont know what was going on. Sister Meredith and i both felt like something was up. We discussed it and Decided that i should get a blessing so i asked Elder Yates to give me a blessing. He was scared and i wasn’t sure why. But anyways so that night i got a blessing and in the blessing i heard exactly what i needed to hear. Then at the end of the blessing elder Yates said something along the lines of " Your family and friends in spirit paradise are watching over you. They love you and are proud of you" Yeah i was already crying and then i burst into tears. Poor Sister Meredith had no idea what was going on. Then i explained the whole thing about you feeling the room fill up when i got set apart. So Saturday night after that we went home and of course we cried and Sister Meredith was in tears to.  It was special though and exactly what i needed to hear.”

I wondered later if friends of ours, 2 young girls who were killed in a train accident shortly before were there as well.  Ally would be kindred spirits with Kelsea and Savannah.  Really, if they were in school together, I know they’d be hanging out together.  Ariel had befriended their mom, Jayna, after they passed and she was like a 2nd mom to Ariel.  I ALWAYS felt blessed to have Ariel spend so much time there, never jealous.  I felt like, I like to daydream, that Ally sent Ariel to Jayna because she knew how awful losing a child is and Ariel seemed to inherit Ally’s traits.  Ariel seemed to have a way of showing up at Jayna’s at the just the right moment.  Ally has been influencing my family all this time.   

Eric is much more like me than Ally.  But he has her way of making you also feel important and making a personal connection.  Also like Ally, Casey knows how to laugh at himself.  His laugh is contagious, you get him on a roll, and you forget what you were laughing about because his laugh is funny in itself.  Kenzie is also influenced by Ally in her passion for a particular style.  Not Ally’s style, but that girl knows exactly what she likes and doesn’t like.  She came up with a design of a building that brought goosebumps.  Ally used to dream of and drew up plans for a building with a dance studio for each of us, a craft studio, a daycare, and more.  Something I think she envisioned in downtown SLO and she said I was in charge of all the interior design and architecture.  Kenzie came up with something too, including a theatre.  She also will simply walk away from her friends when they’re fighting and come back to them when they’re done.  She’s also the funny one, you don’t expect it and she’ll deliver a doozy and just get you with her sarcasm.  Improv and theatre are her outlets.  And she is the queen of improv, commanding the stage as soon as she walks out. 

She was my roomie for nearly 17 years.  I recall our finally getting our own bedrooms but every other month we’d put the beds and clothes all in one and make the other room a play room.  Then we’d move the beds back to have our own rooms again, and the cycle went on and on.  Decorating and rearranging was the best part.  Those beds are matching captains beds that our grandpa made for us.  My kids STILL use them.  I got to celebrate 17 of her birthdays with her.  And she cried when people sang Happy Birthday to her. 

I don’t have to go to the cemetery to feel her.  She isn’t there.  She’s right here with me whenever I look into my kids’ eyes.  When I watch them just being themselves.  When I need her.  When I am doing the things that make me a better woman.  I can also feel her in my home, where we laugh and do things that families do.  When I’m watching a movie.  When I’m eating raw bell peppers, which I never used to like.  When I see my kids’ friends do silly things together, TP’ing, playing at the school park at night, making posters for firemen who saved our town, trying on goofy outfits in the stores, and on our trip to Hawaii.  So many special times that I know she’s still influencing my family.    

I miss the girl time she would have gotten in with my girls and I.  She was supposed to come stay with us after she would have graduated high school to help take care of our newborn.  When Ariel was just beginning to coo and smile she used to make faces and talk to a picture of Christ and one I had of Ally.  I believe the veil is very thin for children and she recognized her angel from before she came to earth.  Ally taught her all about us before she came to us and the first time she called her dad a butthead I heard Ally’s voice, that was her nickname for Todd. 

For all of you that knew Ally, I hope you write your memories down and do share them(especially the silly ones).  

Happy Birthday Bree Butt.

1 comment:

  1. Just beautiful, Jenne. True, sacred, and beautiful.