It’s been two years now. I have been trying to wrap my head around this thought for a couple of weeks now as this looming date approached. Two years ago. Two years have passed since I lost my best friend. Two years, yet it feels like just yesterday, but also an eternity ago all at once. I cannot describe this feeling. Some days the pain feels so fresh and recent, and others, I can feel the scar there healed over. Continue reading →
Some days, it just hits me. It hit me again this morning as I was sipping coffee out of the mug I got you one Christmas.
It is an overcast morning. I am checking the weather to learn that snow is forecasted for next Thursday. Late I know.
I can’t help but be reminiscent today. It’s been a while since tears fell from these eyes of mine. I’ve been doing really well as of late. I wish you were here so I could tell you all about it. No matter how busy you were you always found time to lend an ear.
This morning, I’m thinking back to the time we carved pumpkins together in your dorm room and made more of a mess than we should have. We carved and talked for hours, then despite have a calculus exam later that week, we went down to the community kitchens to roast our pumpkin seeds. I miss that. I miss you.
I don’t think I have ever been this genuinely and consistently happy as I have this year–and my happiness keeps escalating with every day. I have grown tremendously this year. I’ve learned to let go of things out of my control. I have learned to dismiss toxic people in my life, and to seek out and pursue only those that can lift me up and enhance my ongoing happiness and harmony. This summer has been one for the books with so much growth, discovery, detoxification, adventure, love, confidence, and inner peace and contentment that I have not felt in a very long time. Continue reading →
✝ Makenzie will never be forgotten. She was such a role model both in dance and life. Makenzie’s story and legacy, the Stocker family and Makenzie’s best friend Caitlin have all helped me in dealing with my own personal grief with Jessi. They taught me to “turn my mourning into dancing” and showed me that I can get through this.
The dreams about her have subsided. I don’t think about her everyday as I have in years past and I’m needing to play old audio to remember her voice. Six years ago today, my oldest daughter, Makenzie — who is now my youngest — was invited into heaven. “Six years” is a long time as I think about all that has happened since. Great things. Hard things. Things to celebrate and things to mourn.
As I spend today in the back corner of a small-town coffee shop, I think about the word “restoration.” More-so, I think about what it takes to be restored. Brokenness first. Surrender second. Expertise third. Time last. Then, restoration births new life. That’s God’s way. He takes my broken and hurting heart for the loss of my child and calls it to surrender. He reaches out and holds my surrendered hands first to comfort, then…
So I know I have been MIA these past few weeks. I can go ahead and blame finals and all of the other end-of-semester chaos that is really quite expected by now, but I am not going to. I know of a few low priority things I can put on the back burner when I have a lot going on, but I do not want this blog to be one. It acts as a huge stress reliever actually and allows me an outlet to honestly whatever I feel I need to let out (that mostly being my love for food and fitness that gets suppressed by the engineering world–but that’s another story). As my first day back to my blogging world, I find nothing more suiting than to share how my half marathon went this past Sunday. The same half marathon I devoted to running for Jessi.Continue reading →
A year ago, I lost my best friend in the entire world. Jessica Dillon was just the angel I needed from the first day I met her my freshman year continuing on to now. A year ago, I was at a hospital in Boulder praying to God and crying my heart out. A year ago, I got two phone calls that changed my life forever. One to shake up my Sunday morning and send me in a haze of tears, prayers, car rides, walks and hugs and a second t to change my life for good. The night of May 4th, 2014, God called my best friend Jessi home to Heaven after a day of fighting for her beautiful life. A day filled with chaos and confusion turned to a night sitting on the patio with my other best friend trying to settle into this hard hit reality. Today will make me cry. Today will make my heart hurt. This date has been approaching and I have been hiding from it and hiding from this blog as a result. When the tears fall today, know that as much as I try to be strong and positive, my heart will always be missing a place for Jessi. My heart is not empty by any means though. It is filled with love and memories. The memories flood in as I try to focus on the happy and warm feelings. Everything happens for a reason. Every moment lends an opportunity for growth, even the grievous ones. I admit. I suffered a fair amount this past year, but I have also grown and morphed in a way I could not even imagine possible. I am stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have a confidence in myself I could have never dreamed of. I can honestly say that I am truly happy in my life. Even when circumstances are not the best, or I feel stressed or sad, I can look at the bigger picture and I feel secure knowing that I am in a balanced and blissful place. I owe this to Jessi. She taught me how to keep an open heart and an open mind, how to focus on the important aspects in life like family, faith, health and love. She taught me how to lift myself up, so that I can carry on her legacy and lift others up as well. She taught me to live life with heart, health and happiness–and now I strive to teach those around me as well. As today carries on, I pray for strength and love and peace. I pray that I can share Jessi’s story and be inspiring and encouraging to others.
Easter is beyond my favorite holiday. The spring season, the meaning, the feeling it brings inside me–everything about it just cleanses me and gives me an ignited appreciation for life and all the little things it brings. I love Easter with all my heart, and why wouldn’t I when this holiday reminds people of new life and rebirth and hope? I must admit to feeling emotional on Easter. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I usually tear up in Church. This Easter I have even more “feels” in me. One of my favorite Easters was a few years back to my freshman year when I was warmly invited to spend Easter with Jessi and her wonderful family.Continue reading →
I am so sorry to all of my tremendous followers. I have been no where to be seen on here on Journey for Jessi lately. For those of you following my Instagram, you know I haven’t been completely missing in action. You have seen so many tidbits lately that I owe it to you all (and myself) to fill in the pieces.Continue reading →
I have been thinking about you a lot lately, and that usually means I am missing you more so than usual. Every little (or huge) reminder of your constant presence never ceases to bring me back. It is truly amazing how much you are still touching my life. I would not be the person I am now without you. You have turned my life into an ever-shining bliss of happiness and sunshine. You continue to inspire me to always be encouraging towards others. In fact, I am now a Beachbody Coach helping and empowering others to find health and fitness–something that I never would have had the courage to pursue if it was not for your encouraging voice in the back of my mind throughout the process. I want to help people just like you have/are helping me: that is to be the best version of myself no matter what, to always challenge myself in order to grow and to constantly strive to live life with heart, health and happiness.
Recently, I have been too wrapped up in bringing light to others’ lives (which is amazing), but I only say “too wrapped up” because I started to settle back into my “comfort” zone again–not like before thank goodness, but enough to become a little too stressed and anxious like the old Emily (you know the one). However, you saw this before I did and you intervened ASAP. This may sound silly to others, but you know exactly what I am talking about. You tricky trickster. Last night at my cooking class training, I met the CSU’s “new” nutritionist–Kelsey. I could not believe it! Especially when she said she was teaching cycling again at the Rec. When I heard this I knew. I knew this was you reaching out to me. It took everything in me to not bust out cry-laughing, but I managed not to (unlike now…) You knew I needed this push because the truth is, I have not stepped into that cycling studio since you left. I could not even imagine what would happen when I sat down next to your bike…
Regardless of my fears, I took your challenge. This morning, I got up at 5:30 am and headed to Kelsey’s cycling class. At first, it was a little overwhelming, but as class started, I felt stronger–physically from Kelsey’s crazy good cardio class of course, but also emotionally. I overcame this emotional challenge of being in that studio–a place where our friendship really grew every Tuesday/Thursday at 7 am freshman and sophomore year. It was good to be back, Jess. I cannot thank you enough once again. You inspire me, you encourage me and you challenge me every day to be a better human being. No one else may understand or see the value of this victory, but to me, it is another page turned in the story of my “Journey for Jessi.”
Happy New Year all! I hope 2015 is bringing you as much inspiration and determination for you as it is for me. This is my recap post for the new year; I was going to do a recap and resolutions post, but it quickly will turn into a novel. Last year I gave up Facebook for quite some time. It was sporadic off and on. I really enjoyed cutting the ties from Facebook. Currently, I am back on, but once school starts again I will delete my personal page and just keep the Journey for Jessi page–so be sure to like it! Continue reading →