4.10.23 Remembering Bailey

It’s been one week since my friend passed away. After some reflection time yesterday, I have found some peace around the loss. I still have moments of anger and deep sadness but I’m coming to terms with the fact that I was lucky to love her while she was here.

I remember the first time I met Bailey, she was playing beer pong and was the loudest person I had ever met. I was hooked instantly. Our friendship evolved over the years from hours in her chair, to major life events like marriage and diagnoses, and literally everything in between. I remember like it was yesterday calling her crying after my first ALS clinic and not having the energy to party in Austin for her bachelorette party. I can see her screaming at her wedding reception dress that wouldn’t unzip to go over her hips so she could get back out to the party. All the emotions of Tyler being born and waiting to see if it was a boy or a girl, spoiler alert: it’s a girl. So many memories.

Bailey would have loved Friday’s celebration of life service, which, as I’m learning, is a true tribute to how someone lived. She would have loved people from all phases of her life being in the same room. Nobody would have been more impressed than Bailey that I was early or that Jaci’s hair was clean. Berkeley, Bailey’s youngest, showed off her pretty shoes and dress proudly and informed everyone she passed how she knew them. I watched Tyler, Bailey’s oldest, do perfect cartwheels with her cousins and friends. I watched as people I went to college with, essentially grew up with, show up and support Mitch through the worst possible week of his life. It was beautifully heartbreaking.

All we can do is pray for her girls, her Mitch, her family. Cancer is a selfish, cruel disease. Please continue to send love their way. Mitch shared this last week and it shattered me:

I’m mad. I’m angry. I’m devastated. I’m broken. But mostly I’m grateful for 14 years spent with the most beautiful soul I have ever met.

Like many of you, I fell in love with Bailey the second she entered into my life. She is just so beautiful. From her smile to her soul. She was in complete control of my heart and my mind. I’ve never felt happiness like what she could give with a laugh. And then she gave me two incredible little girls and our love grew tenfold.

Heaven has a monopoly on perfection. It doesn’t exist here, on Earth. I know that. Bailey knew that. But for fourteen years I got as close to an earthly perfection as I could ever hope to reach. So thank you for Bailey. I love you. Right now that love has me drowning and suffocating. But I’m still just so grateful for it.

At the alter I told you I would love you for forever… and a day. So I will gladly suffer this pain as the price for our time spent together. You were, and will always be, my everything.

Since I was there early, I got to watch the slideshow of her life. So many pictures, so much love, all testifying to her shimmer. It’s hard to believe she’s not here shimmering on all of us. One thing I loved about all the tributes given was that every single one referenced, Just like all of you I loved _____ about Bailey, because we all knew her separately but we all shared the same love for her. In my heart and my head I was still angry with God going into the service but when one of my favorite verses was quoted it was like all that anger didn’t matter anymore. Bailey is in Heaven and I’ll get to see her again one day, of that I have no doubt.

We love because He first loved us.

1 John 4:19

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