Annie, Ali’s Mom here. The week has been a maelstrom, our attention split between developing plans to celebrate Ali’s life, keeping up with what is now a criminal matter (the driver who hit Ali and Luc charged with felony vehicular manslaughter), the beginnings of bills and insurance matters, trying to stay in touch with Ali within us and our grief. Beneath it all has been your love, like a deep powerful river, unifying our experience while on the surface we are so fragmented. How can I ever thank you enough? We’ll just try to pay it forward.
I’m not getting to see enough of these posts, but I dip in each day for sips of wonderful photos I’ve never seen and stories that give us pieces of her we didn’t have and some great laughs. Please keep them coming.
On Christmas Eve Jerry and I came home to the house as we left it, terrified, shocked, unable to comprehend this could be happening to our girl and her beloved, and to our family, again. Walking in the door a week later was a terrible moment. She was supposed to be there cooking our traditional Christmas dinner with me, preparing for our little Christmas by the fire, just the three of us, the next morning. She and Luc were to have celebrated early as he had to go back to sea. Knowing she’d never come in that door again, back to what in her childhood she called her ‘homey home’, was almost unbearable.
But recently she’d finally, after all these years, cleaned out her childhood room, which had become the Ali storage unit. I dreaded that she’d leave it hollowed out, but instead she refashioned it into a lovely, deeply personal retrospective of her life from infancy to her first apartment with Luc, before they moved onto their boat. Her room was now, she told us, for them when they came to visit so they could be in the house with us instead of the guest cottage where they’ve stayed for years, for any guest who’d like to use it, and for me, a quiet place to hand quilt. Jerry and I spent much of Christmas Eve there.
The following evening friends invited us to dinner with their family of grown children and two granddaughters. To walk into that bit of ordinary life, luminous with the tree lights and candles, warm and kind, was exquisite. I was reminded how breathtakingly beautiful it is to be here in this life. We have limited control, though we’d like to think otherwise. Anything can and does happen. Fair has nothing to do with it. This mess of joy and pain, rage, boredom, hilarity, moments of peace is simply the ‘what is’ as my rabbi Margaret wisely calls it. When I open myself to what is, I find I can love the whole of it.
I hope this experience won’t have cast life in a bad light for you. I hope in the New Year it will remind you to live, love, laugh, relish, suffer and learn with abandon. Every blessing.
Sent from my iPad