I've started 20 blog posts in the past few months. I've got a backlog of them: from Steven's new leg, to soccer videos, to wedding pictures and thoughts on that, to a picture of Steven taller than me, and even some thoughts on being five years out from Steven's diagnosis and surgery. I feel like bragging about the many great things Steven is doing, and showing off his successes from my little blog. I've had thoughts on my father-in-law's passing and the grief my kids seem destined to know from a young age. My heart is really so full, I'm sorry I've been so silent. There is so much good going on in our lives, we truly have so much to be grateful for.
But I will post today because it has been a year since Alisa passed away. So much has happened in that time, it feels so unreal that it has only been a year, and yet it feels like a lifetime for how much I've missed her.
I have had so many moments where the only thing that feels right is to call her up and ask how things are going. I've had day dreams (and actual dreams) of doing that--if I don't have exact conversations memorized, at least I know what she would say. I seem to know how she would respond to a question or problem.
I'm not sure all of my blog readers know that her husband, Josh, got remarried in March. His new wife is lovely and so much good will come of their marriage. But there has been a lot of change as they start their new life together. On the day of their wedding, I felt such polar feelings of happiness and loss. I kept going back to the day Josh called to tell me he was dating her. As he described her situation and how they met, I had a very distinct feeling that Alisa had a hand in picking Katie for Josh and her boys. But even still, it has not been easy. Alisa often spoke about how sadness and happiness could happen simultaneously, and this has been an example of that for me.
My sisters and Josh's mom have been helping pack up the house and today I just felt I needed to be there, to kind of say some last goodbyes to the places and things that are so full of memories.
I was boxing up some journals and scrapbooks and I took a peek. It took me back to the Alisa I knew when we were little who would defend all animals and love all her friends. I remembered the fun times she had in college and her faithful letters to Josh when he was on his mission. I read some of the love notes from her kids and some of the love notes to her kids. I found notes on her cancer research and letters from her adoring friends.
My favorite find was a little notebook full of ideas, I believe for a book she wanted to write. It's a very loose compilation with ideas she's gathered from life. One thought that struck me was under the subtitle "Cancer." She wrote, "Your heart has to break first, in order for it to be opened."
It's hard for me to tell if my heart has been opened yet, but I know for sure it has been broken.
I miss Alisa every day. I know I'm not alone. Her grave today was covered in flowers and my phone has been lit up with texts from her friends expressing their love for her and their thoughts of me. I very much look forward to the day I will see her again. Until then, I hope I can live a life half so brilliant as hers was. The brightness of her life still shines into mine, and I know it will forever.