Wednesday, September 12, 2012
My sweet friend, Allie Arnett passed away on Friday morning after a 6 year battle with cancer. I loved Allie. I didn't know her before she had cancer. And the relationship I had with her wasn't extremely close, although we did sit behind her family in church every Sunday. Our family got to church on a very hot Sunday in the middle of August 2010. The Arnett's sat in front of us that day and I remember looking at Allie and thinking that I totally wanted to get to know her. She had this cute, sassy haircut and all these adorable little blonde children. A few weeks later we had the opportunity to attend a Marriage and Family Enrichment class with Allie and her husband. Allie stopped me after the first of those 16 classes and said, "I'm so glad we're in this class together because I have totally wanted to get to know you." I was an instant Allie fan after that. We were FB friends for a few months, and then texting friends, and occasionally "girls night" dinner friends. Our husbands became movie buddies and I taught her oldest daughter in my Sunday School class. There were lots of opportunities to cross paths with Allie.
And then someone told me about her cancer. And her blog. And her amazing attitude. And if I hadn't already adored her, I would have after spending an entire evening glued to my laptop reading every word of her story. She was an amazing writer. And more than that, she had the ability to pour her faith into everything she wrote and uplift everyone who read her blog. We all walked through every step of this journey with her because she let us. And we all hoped, like she did, that she would be able to beat the cancer.
This morning, my three daughters and I attended her funeral. As I looked around the chapel at the hundreds of people there, I was, and continue to be, overwhelmed at the vast numbers of people Allie influenced, especially during those 6 challenging years. I'm sure there are countless others who weren't able to be in that building, whose lives were touched in immeasurable ways by the way Allie lived her life. I have no idea how many of us there were, but I know that we are better because we knew Allie. She was light and hope and faith.
For a little while on Friday, I ached for what we have all lost, especially her family. But then I felt overwhelming gratitude for the two years that I knew her. I am so grateful to have even flown in one of the outer orbits of her radar. I am better because of her. We all are. I am so grateful that she is no longer fighting that stupid cancer. I'm grateful that because she and her family have been sealed in the Temple they have the opportunity to be together forever, and that she will not be far from them in the years between now and then. The days ahead will be dark and difficult for her husband and children, but Heavenly Father has assured us that "the morning cometh" (Isaiah 21:12) I'm sure they will have many mornings ahead after this darkness has passed.
I hope that I can always remember the amazing legacy Allie has left, and that I can be a little of that light that she was. I love you, Allie. <3