Sunday, November 6, 2011

If only you knew it was the last day you would see them

I will never forget the first week of November 2010.
It has been one year since I last saw my sister Carrisa alive....

The first week of Novemeber 2010  holds many memories, not just of my sister, but of my sweet friend Sarah, whose little baby girl died.  In fact, I almost didn't go to California so I could attend Harper's funeral, but many people insisted that I keep my plans as they were.

I cannot believe it has been a year since I saw her

I am thankful, so very thankful for the time.  It was a spontaneous trip to California in early November.  I had been telling Brett for several months that I really wanted to "go home," that I needed to see my family.  In October we found some really cheap plane tickets to Sacramento, they were so cheap Brett decided he wanted to come along with Maya and me.

It was beautiful.  If you have never been to Placerville, CA in the fall you should go!  We visited Apple Hill (one of my favorite places). It was in the 70's, no wind, colorful trees everywhere, peaceful...... I remember driving through Apple Hill telling Brett, "this is what I have been waiting for, what I have been wanting."  I just felt a surreal amount of peace and contentment.  We got to see great friends, eat great food, and most important we had time with family.

We celebrated Thanksgiving & Christmas early since we knew we would not be coming back to California for either.  This meant everyone was coming to mom's house while we were there.

Inside I feel myself grasping to keep the memories with Carrisa on this occasion, trying to hold on to everything I can remember. 

(she won't just be missed as a mother, but as an aunt)
I remember watching her with Norah.  She was so proud of Norah, so happy to have her!
I can see Norah dancing across the living room, doing her chicken head and sticking out her booty, I hear Carrisa laughing and cheering her on.
I remember Carrisa telling me every word Norah could already say, and seeing the pride and joy in her eyes.
I remember opening presents, I remember the exact shirt and sweater Carrisa got for Maya, she always had great taste!


I remember we all loved watching Maya and Norah together as cousins

I remember watching toy story 3 as a family, all plopping in front of the tv together, on the couch and floor using cushions.  Toy Story 3 was already one of my favorite movies, now it holds a special place in my heart.

I remember eating our Thanksgiving meal together and the only thing Carrisa could have was a sweet potatoe because she had so many food intolerance's (apparently).  I remember feeling sad for her as she ate the potatoe, feeling like her diet was too strict.  I specifically remember  all of us discussing her diet with her, and what her chiropractor was recommending and questioning it, only because it seemed so extreme.  I just didn't know if there was something else wrong, rather than her just being allergic to every food on the planet.  Maybe I should have pushed the issue harder, but I just didn't want to make her feel worse than what it seemed she already did.

I remember taking pictures together, as we always did when we got together.
(it still feels strange that Carrisa took this picture of Norah and I together)

(and I am so glad we got this last one)
 I look back on that time and wish I could remember more.  I look back and think of what I may have done differently if I knew it was our last day together.  I wish I could have told her how much I loved her and how proud I was of her............. but I fear that knowing would have only made our time together sad.

The last day with Carrisa wasn't sad, it was special.  It was really a time filled with happy memories and there is nothing I would change.  It was a true gift from God.

I will never forget the first week of November 2010.


  1. This is a beautiful tribute to your sister. Not only because you are remembering a precious moment but because you are asking each one of your readers what we would do today to make it a better day. Thank you. Hope all is well with you.

  2. Oh Jenni, this is beautiful and makes me want to cry. I can't imagine losing my sister. Praying for you this week.

  3. It doesn't feel like it's been a whole year. wow.


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