Wednesday, December 9, 2015


December 6, 2015 my beautiful cousin returned to heaven.
Marissa and I were never the closest cousins, but I love her and know she is in a better place.
The summer before her junior year at BYU she was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.

I've never had someone be such a good example to me.
She donated her hair before she had shaved it off and through everything she remained optimistic.

I have very few memories of her, but these are the ones I still have...

Once we visited her house in Texas. Very briefly, but I remember her talking about being a cheerleader, and playing piano, but mostly her showing me her gold and silver dollar collection. I don't know if I remember this wrong, but I remember her giving me a couple coins. I have never had the selflessness to ever do that. I probably would have made sure my grimy younger cousins didn't steal my stuff if anything! I know I was not cute then, and probably obnoxious as heck so that was a big deal.

I remember receiving a box randomly of some of her clothes and a note. I didn't even know she knew me or remembered me, but I felt special and really lucky to have a cousin who sent me clothes she grew out of.

One 4th of July she invited me to come watch the Stadium of Fire with her. It was while my dad was in school or my siblings were too young or something, because I had never dreamed of being able to go. Kind of weird how that works isn't it? I never would have thought I would have a job and actually have been able to buy my own ticket in the future or actually be one of the dancers eventually! Weird how life changes--how we grow up.

The only other memories I have are brief ones, her playing piano at our house (probably one of the only other cousins who played piano for a long time and became an accomplished pianist). 

I remember how much more mature she was than everyone else. My memories are that she was too kind for this world. I can't imagine anyone ever having a fight with her. She was a genius. And not only an accomplished pianist, but also flutist, violinist, and singer (?)

I can't even imagine how her parents feel, how her two brothers feel, how her roommates feel...

21 is so young.

It's times like these that make us so grateful for the atonement and for the sealing power of the temple. I know she was welcomed into heaven by her Lola. Everything happens for a reason, she is carrying on the work from heaven.

This poem was on the funeral program for my Lola and I can't seem to forget it. It is the only poem that has ever made me tear up and therefore it is by far my favorite.

Footsteps in the Sand
-Mary Stevenson-

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. 
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me." 
He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."

beautiful flowers given to us by my dad's work

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