Monday, September 23, 2013

Janeece's 3rd Birthday

Crazy to believe my youngest niece is already three. She is such a fun, loving, little girl. I don't see her very often, but when I do she runs right up to me, arms open wide for a big hug. 

I had a few hours off on Thursday so I was able to stop by and visit her. She was so happy with her Princess Ariel stuff. She's currently obsessed with Ariel, it's pretty much all she talks, even prays, about. 

Here's one more video of her adorable 3 year old attitude. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Nichole & Ashley's Wedding

This wedding snuck up on me. They did everything right by sending save the date and invitations ahead of time, but the best reminder was the Facebook Event. I was in a weird spot after Elsa's death, not really in the mood for fun, but I said I was going and I don't like to flake out on people when I say I'll be there. I usually ask myself, that this will be the one and only time I'll ever get to experience this event, is it something I want to miss? 

The wedding was at Red Butte Gardens, which is so close to the U. I can't believe during the 3 years I lived there I didn't take advantage of visiting such a beautiful place. 

I was already emotional, but hearing these two read their vows made me feel happy and lucky for all of the opportunities there are in this world to love.  

Nichole is my old co-worker from NUAP so a lot of my old work crew was there. We had a blast dancing up until the very last song. I think it was just what I needed, to be surrounded by love, music, and dancing. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Elsa Manuela Alonso

This is one post I needed to write, but didn't want to sit down and reflect on it. Everyone went through their own grieving process and for me being in control and expressing it through writing, video, and photos has helped me cope, better than bawling in public. That's just me, I feel more comfortable suppressing things and having a hard exterior, even if I'm crumbling inside. It doesn't mean that I care less or hurt less, it's just my way. 

Sunday morning at 7:45 AM my phone started ringing, it was my father-in-law, I don't usually answer if I'm half awake, but it was unusual for him to call me, especially that early. My brain had time to process two things, either they needed a babysitter for Anthony or something happened to David. I answered, he said, Priscilla your friend Elsa has been in a bad accident. Car accidents are one sensitive topic for me. I've been in too many and I've dedicated this portion of my career to injury prevention out on the road. I uncouthly asked if she was dead. He said yes. I wasn't processing, I just wanted to know why, when, how. I  love and appreciate him for making that difficult call. 

This is the 2nd call I've received when I'm half awake that someone has passed way. Both times I reacted the same. I take the call, hang up, and realize in a mess of tears what's actually been said. I saw my brother outside my window and immediately ran out to tell him about the call. Hearing the words come out of my mouth made me cry. I love that guy, and I'm glad he was there to hear me. I could tell I was grasping for control because I put laundry in the dryer, went to the bathroom and put toilet paper on the roll. Jose came in and asked what I was doing, I told him, but wouldn't stop to talk, just kept being busy and crying. 

You know how when you hear bad news, and keep hoping that as the day progresses you'll find out that you were given the wrong information? That's how I felt. Elsa's grandma and aunt live a block from me, so I walked over to see how true it really was. Angie was sitting outside, more clouded than I was. We cried in each other's arms as we tried to piece it all together. The day was long and heartbreaking as many of us met at the crash site to leave flowers and balloons for our fallen friend. Hearing all of the chatter of what people thought happened was unsettling. I am all about logic and facts and will only believe the police report and examiners report, not someone's exaggerations. Again, coping mechanisms for me. 

It was a long, hard week leading up to the funeral services. I just wanted to keep in mind that I was hurting, but it wasn't about me, it was about showing support to her parents, brothers, baby, and Paris. Even to this day it still doesn't feel real. I hate checking Instagram and not seeing posts from her. The last time I saw her was at the Ludacris concert August 15th. We texted a few times after that. 

One thing I found very interesting was that all of her friends had distinct experiences in Elsa's timeline. My strongest memories are of our youth days at church. Everyone's memories mean something to them and are valuable. They are all a piece of her. 

I'm left with this weird feeling of not knowing whether I should love more or love less. My one comforting thought is that Elsa's free. To me that means she's in this perfect space, stress free, and oh so happy. 

If I could get one message across it would be don't drink & drive.

Here are the Fox 13 and Standard Examiner articles about the accident. 

Here's are  several videos, one of her memorial, one of old pics I had on a hard drive, and one our mutual friend made with recent pictures from the last few months.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

3rd Anniversary

My husband and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary. I'm not the type of person to pour out mushy stuff all over social media, but I'll get a little more sentimental here. I wasn't very emotionally stable since my friend had just passed away, but I knew I wanted to go home and dedicate the evening to celebrating our marriage. To me it was the perfect evening, we took a nap, then got dressed up for dinner. I'm not going to lie, it was hard not to be sad, but I also couldn't help but feel lucky to have my husband. We had a lot to reflect back on this year, mostly good things. We had an amazing vacation, started new jobs, and found a hobby we both like. I'm most appreciative that he let's me live an independent lifestyle, where I can go to school and do my own hobbies. This year I really want to dedicate our efforts to becoming better communicators. My masters program has given me refreshing ideas of what it means to communicate effectively and I want that for us. 

A little something I want to remember is how we often banter back and forth about whether we're soulmates or not. I found this meme that made me laugh because as much as I don't want to believe in soulmates this is so how I feel realizing that indeed we are soulmates whether I like it or not. We were meant to find each other because I need someone to keep me lively and crazy.