two years: just yesterday & an eternity ago

two year: just yesterday & an eternity ago | Journey for Jessi

It’s been two years now. I have been trying to wrap my head around this thought for a couple of weeks now as this looming date approached.  Two years ago.  Two years have passed since I lost my best friend.  Two years, yet it feels like just yesterday, but also an eternity ago all at once. I cannot describe this feeling.  Some days the pain feels so fresh and recent, and others, I can feel the scar there healed over.   Continue reading

dear jessi

dear Jessi || Journey for JessiDear Jessi,

I don’t think I have ever been this genuinely and consistently happy as I have this year–and my happiness keeps escalating with  every day.  I have grown tremendously this year.  I’ve learned to let go of things out of my control.  I have learned to dismiss toxic people in my life, and to seek out and pursue only those that can lift me up and enhance my ongoing happiness and harmony.  This summer has been one for the books with so much growth, discovery, detoxification, adventure, love, confidence, and inner peace and contentment that I have not felt in a very long time.  
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a makenzie restoration

✝ Makenzie will never be forgotten. She was such a role model both in dance and life.  Makenzie’s story and legacy, the Stocker family and Makenzie’s best friend Caitlin have all helped me in dealing with my own personal grief with Jessi.  They taught me to “turn my mourning into dancing” and showed me that I can get through this.

- adding value and leadership to those around me.

61767397100The dreams about her have subsided. I don’t think about her everyday as I have in years past and I’m needing to play old audio to remember her voice. Six years ago today, my oldest daughter, Makenzie — who is now my youngest — was invited into heaven.  “Six years” is a long time as I think about all that has happened since.  Great things.  Hard things.  Things to celebrate and things to mourn.  

As I spend today in the back corner of a small-town coffee shop, I think about the word “restoration.”  More-so, I think about what it takes to be restored.  Brokenness first.  Surrender second.  Expertise third.  Time last.  Then, restoration births new life.  That’s God’s way.  He takes my broken and hurting heart for the loss of my child and calls it to surrender.  He reaches out and holds my surrendered hands first to comfort, then…

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May 4, 2014

A year ago, I lost my best friend in the entire world.  Jessica Dillon was just the angel I needed from the first day I met her my freshman year continuing on to now.  A year ago, I was at a hospital in Boulder praying to God and crying my heart out.  A year ago, I got two phone calls that changed my life forever.  One to shake up my Sunday morning and send me in a haze of tears, prayers, car rides, walks and hugs and a second t to change my life for good.  The night of May 4th, 2014, God called my best friend Jessi home to Heaven after a day of fighting for her beautiful life.  A day filled with chaos and confusion turned to a night sitting on the patio with my other best friend trying to settle into this hard hit reality.  Today will make me cry. Today will make my heart hurt.  This date has been approaching and I have been hiding from it and hiding from this blog as a result.  When the tears fall today, know that as much as I try to be strong and positive, my heart will always be missing a  place for Jessi.  My heart is not empty by any means though.  It is filled with love and memories. The memories flood in as I try to focus on the happy and warm feelings.  Everything happens for a reason.  Every moment lends an opportunity for growth, even the grievous ones.  I admit.  I suffered a fair amount this past year, but I have also grown and morphed in a way I could not even imagine possible.  I am stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally.  I have a confidence in myself I could have never dreamed of.  I can honestly say that I am truly happy in my life.  Even when circumstances are not the best, or I feel stressed or sad, I can look at the bigger picture and I feel secure knowing that I am in a balanced and blissful place.  I owe this to Jessi.  She taught me how to keep an open heart and an open mind, how to focus on the important aspects in life like family, faith, health and love.  She taught me how to lift myself up, so that I can carry on her legacy and lift others up as well.  She taught me to live life with heart, health and happiness–and now I strive to teach those around me as well.  As today carries on, I pray for strength and love and peace.  I pray that I can share Jessi’s story and be inspiring and encouraging to others.

Revelation 21:4

dear Jessi || Journey for Jessi

dear jessi

dear Jessi || Journey for JessiDear Jessi,

I have been thinking about you a lot lately, and that usually means I am missing you more so than usual.  Every little (or huge) reminder of your constant presence never ceases to bring me back.  It is truly amazing how much you are still touching my life.  I would not be the person I am now without you.  You have turned my life into an ever-shining bliss of happiness and sunshine.    You continue to inspire me to always be encouraging towards others.  In fact, I am now a Beachbody Coach helping and empowering others to find health and fitness–something that I never would have had the courage to pursue if it was not for your encouraging voice in the back of my mind throughout the process.  I want to help people just like you have/are helping me: that is to be the best version of myself no matter what, to always challenge myself in order to grow and to constantly strive to live life with heart, health and happiness.  

Recently, I have been too wrapped up in bringing light to others’ lives (which is amazing), but I only say “too wrapped up” because I started to settle back into my “comfort” zone again–not like before thank goodness, but enough to become a little too stressed and anxious like the old Emily (you know the one).  However, you saw this before I did and you intervened ASAP.  This may sound silly to others, but you know exactly what I am talking about.  You tricky trickster.  Last night at my cooking class training, I met the CSU’s “new” nutritionist–Kelsey.  I could not believe it!  Especially when she said she was teaching cycling again at the Rec.  When I heard this I knew.  I knew this was you reaching out to me.  It took everything in me to not bust out cry-laughing, but I managed not to (unlike now…)  You knew I needed this push because the truth is, I have not stepped into that cycling studio since you left.  I could not even imagine what would happen when I sat down next to your bike…

Regardless of my fears, I took your challenge.  This morning, I got up at 5:30 am and headed to Kelsey’s cycling class.  At first, it was a little overwhelming, but as class started, I felt stronger–physically from Kelsey’s crazy good cardio class of course, but also emotionally.  I overcame this emotional challenge of being in that studio–a place where our friendship really grew every Tuesday/Thursday at 7 am freshman and sophomore year.  It was good to be back, Jess.  I cannot thank you enough once again.  You inspire me, you encourage me and you challenge me every day to be a better human being.  No one else may understand or see the value of this victory, but to me, it is another page turned in the story of my “Journey for Jessi.”

love you always,

Em

chasing happiness

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I started this blog as a health blog in memory of my best friend Jessi a few months ago. Jessi was my best friend that I waited to emerge all my life, and the two years I knew her, though short, I felt like we had been friends our whole lives. She was the one and only person I could relate to 100%. I knew she would always understand and help me through difficult times. It has been seven months to the night now. Seven months since I lost my best friend, confidant, and sister in Christ. I miss her every single day, and it still feels as fresh as the night she passed. I have been lying to myself thinking that things have been better. But the truth is, I am very lost.
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realizing the journey

realizing the journey--Journey for JessiMy third year of college has come and I am settling into the year as the first-weeks-of-school-festivities come to a close.  I have been ridiculously busy lately as made obvious by my lack of posts…  I am thankful that things are winding down so I can get back into my fitness routine (I might have back-tracked a bit…) and focus on my priorities.  My goals for this month are to declare my nutrition major officially, get back on the health train, and register for the Boulder Spring Half Marathon.  I need to begin running more often again in order to get back into the swing of training. I need to take better care of my body.  I am a firm believer that the body can do wonderful things (like running a marathon) if you take care of it.  I know I need to train properly and effectively as I cannot help but think of Jessi–I am running the Boulder Half for her, for goodness sake.  

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