There are so many amazing memories growing up with Alli. Although we didn’t live in the same town growing up, our time together was always fun. Easter weekends in Yakima and fun visits in the summer when she lived in Vancouver… and all the little things like admiring her pencil collection and her cool clothes. I felt like I won the lottery when I got her hand-me-downs as a kid. I looked up to her more than she probably ever knew. Even though we are 5 years apart in age, it never felt like it.
I always felt lucky to spend time with Allison. I remember when I was in college and she would travel to Yakima for work and she would always make a point to come and see me at Central, or have me come and meet her for dinner in Yakima at her favorite Mexican restaurant. A 2-hour dinner would fly by in what felt like 2 minutes.
As the years went by, we continued to have countless laughs and share moments together that will always be in my mind. LOTS of inside jokes. Tears. The ups and downs of parenting… mostly the ups. Work. Dave Matthews Band. The joys of life. Our husbands. Golfing. Our husbands going golfing. Traveling. Food. And how much family meant to us. I’ll never forget how much she glowed the day she married Barrett… and again when she became a mom.
We got to stop and see Alli a few weeks before she passed and she really wanted to sleep that day and at one point I kind of laughed to myself. It could have been from the meds, or that she was really not feeling well that day… or the fact, as most of you know, that Alli just enjoyed sleeping and maybe she was taking advantage of it. But what I remember most is when she woke up and saw Josh and me, she had that classic Alli look of surprise… ”hello special friend”. I wished I could have recorded her saying those words. That was our special greeting to each other for many years…. what I wouldn’t give to hear “hellooooo special friend” just one more time.
If there is one thing Alli would want, is for all of us to continue living life by being brave. I thank you all again for being a part of Alli’s celebration. I will end by saying this… ”How lucky I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to.”
Alli – wherever you are today, you are forever in my heart, and always on my mind.