I am very behind on blogging and still need to post more of our last days in Victoria. We have been home just nearly a week and it always seems harder to keep up at home. We have had the very sad news that our dear friend DanaLee passed away this last weekend. There is a hole in my heart and I already miss her so much. We had the good fortune to see her in North Carolina twice in the last few years, and even spend an entire month with her while Brian had a production. She was one of my closest friends, the only person I kept on speed dial other than Brian. It seems a little self centered to post, but I was looking back at her blog and she wrote a very sweet letter to me for my birthday a couple of years ago:

"Who knew when I climbed into the back of a green Dodge Dart that cold night in November of 1993 that it would be my first of many climbs and the start of a friendship that would forever shape my life. Annie, I know it's not our nature to be all tender and emotional, but I want you to know I love you!

Thank you for being my friend even though I had pickle breath. Thank for teaching me the love of Llama Fest. Thank you for starting the Wrestle Mania trends. Thank you for teaching me to love gnocchi. Thank you for road trips to Idaho, California, Vegas Xs a ton. Thank you for visiting me in North Carolina. Thank you for being my psychiatrist. Thank you for being my medical consultant. Thank you for always remembering my birthdays. Thank you for teaching me to love good music. Thank you not pushing me down anymore.

Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for mocking me and making me laugh more. Thank you for creating sausage ball Sabbath. Thank you teaching me to not give up (re: finally marrying Brian). Thank you for sharing your life and love. Thank you for sharing your family. Thank you for sharing your friends. Thank you for more memories than I can really count.

Having never lived in one spot for more than 5 years before college I never knew what it was like to have a life long friend. I know you will always be my friend, even though you sometimes push me down. See I have proof. Also, the one thing I don't thank you for is Ram Charger Loving. I cannot believe you got to kiss that boy and I didn't! So much for Symphony bars and Mountain Dew!"

It makes me realize I need to say things like this to people more liberally. Life is precious and can pass quickly. I have faith that DanaLee is in an amazing place where she continues to progress and that we will see each other again. She has just gone ahead to make sure we all have sausage balls in Heaven. I do not feel like my mind is really clear enough to say all that I want to say (and my blog is more photos than thoughts) but the world seems a little sadder to me these days.
(DanaLee with my kids last year)

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  1. rusted sun said...
    Thanks so much for posting this. I've had DanaLee on my mind since you told me yesterday of her passing. I love the photos of DanaLee with your kids. Yesterday I called the friend that she connected me with her in New Zealand and told her the news. I have little doubt that there are people all over the world who are happier, better and move loved because of DanaLee.
    Mrs. M said...
    Oh no, what happened? I recognize her face and remember her as one of your crazy friends at BYU. Sending warm thoughts your way.
    Julie said...
    That is really touching, Ann. I'm sorry that you lost one of your closest friends but isn't that wonderful to know she's alright & we'll all be alright too.
    Happy pictures.
    jungleprincess said...
    Oh, Ann, I am so sad--DanaL was truly a gem. Such a fun, delightful person. Thank you for sharing the beautiful letter she wrote you. Hugs!
    april said...
    beautiful post, ann. love the pics of danalee and your kids. danalee truly was one of a kind and i'm glad i knew her (through you - so thanks for that too).

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