I've been thinking about writing this post for a few days now, but I was a little hesitant. It's one of those situations where you don't really know your particular place, but you want to do everything you can. So I figure that sharing my memories, regardless of how insignificant they may seem, might help me feel like I'm doing something.
I'm pretty sure I've known the Schlauders my whole life. My earliest memory with Ally is going over to her house to swim with my cousins, who are also her cousins, when I was about 5. I don't really know what happened on that day, but we've been best friends ever since. The Schlauders lost their beautiful, sweet daughter Leah this week. I always remember thinking that Leah was so gorgeous and glamorous and just everything you admire about an older girl when you're a little girl. I remember when me and Ally would sneak into her room to look at all her pictures and just imagine our lives as cool as Leah's. After she graduated from hair school, she became our family's beauty expert. I think Leah did my hair for every event in my adolescent life- middle school graduation, family pictures, and every dance I ever went to. Me and Ally would go over to her house on the day of the dance and she would do our hair and makeup and just laugh with us about how excited we were. She was so fun! I loved seeing her at the salon because I always knew that she would make me laugh and talk about any high school drama that was going on. She was the best. I haven't seen Leah in many years, but whenever I look at the family picture that hangs by our front door, I think of her because she did my hair in this crazy crisscross part that I loved. I feel so blessed to have known Leah and her wonderful smile and sense of humor. I'm so blessed to have had the Schlauder family in my life for all these years. They've been such a great example of what family should be- eternal, everlasting, unconditional. I hope they know of my love for them.
I have a hard time understanding why things like this happen. Life isn't fair, and we are reminded of that so often. But as I was sitting at her funeral today, listening to all the beautiful things that her friends and family had to say about her, I was reminded of how lucky I am to have the gospel in my life. I can't think of anything more depressing that thinking that you won't ever see the people that you love after they've left this life. I'm so grateful to know that families are forever! Isn't that what it's all about? Everything we try to do, everything we work for, comes down to that fact: we all want to be together in the end. I feel so blessed to know that.