Emily’s Joy

That’s how I remember Emily, pure JOY. I knew Emily through my advisor role at Covenant Prebyterian’s High School Youth Connection program. Every Sunday she would bring her smile and spirit to the group and light up the evening. I got to know her better on our mission trip trip to Ft. Apache where she would always step in to lend her helping hand. She was not a shy person at all. As those who have posted here have said, she easily brought smiles to all the children at the reservation – laughing, joking, making crafts with them. Emily also worked hard to renovate the local homes. To remember Emily, I am organizing a bicycle team to ride in the Tour de Cure sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. The team’s name is EMILY’S JOY. If you would like to ride with us on May 22 or sponsor a rider, please call me at 608-833-1267.

Our God Sky

There are so many wonderful memories I have of Emily it has taken me a long time to think of one I would like to share. Besides Emily’s birthday party in the TT with her and Colleen another favorite memory includes food…something we all know Emily loved so much!! I was supposed to go to work but once I got there I got to leave, so I had 3 hours to burn. I called Emily and she was all about me coming over to her apartment and then we would get food. Not only did I get the pleasure of eating with Em but the momma came too 🙂 We went to the Red Robin, which was my first time, and Emily was so excited about the Statue of Liberty, that is in the front of the lobby, that she had me take a picture of her next to it…Later that day, when the sun was setting the clouds were starting to cover the sky and the colors were beautiful and bright, Emily and I decided to go outside and take a picture of “Our God Sky”. Every time I drive by or eat at the Red Robin I am reminded of that very funny and excited girl with the big smiley I went with the first time, but most of all I think of Em when I see those special “God Sky’s” and how she is some how behind the making of every one I see now. I love Emily so much and am so glad that we shared that very special “God Sky” together!!

The Casey’s

When Emily was diagnosed with diabetes in 1998 we became joined at the hips. This is not fun for any parent and child and Emily and I were no exceptions. She was in 7th grade when she was diagnosed and for the next 3 years whatever Em did I did it with her. She was on swim team, so I went to her practices and of course the meets. She was on the tennis team in high school. I went to the practices and all but one of the meets when she begged me not to come. It was hard on us but it was the only way she felt safe, and she hated that. During that time she was hospitalized a great deal. It seemed like every 6 weeks she went into ketoacidosis and needed help getting back on track. The pump helped but had problems of its own. In all events, Em and I were close, a little too close for a teenage girl. When she was in high school, especially by the end of her sophomore year she was REALLY sick of me. It was about this time that she and Colleen started to become good friends. They were like peas in a pod. I have never seen girls laugh so much and be so silly. They were kindred spirits and I was so happy for Em. What made it all the more special for me was Jill, Colleen’s mom, and the Casey family. Emily had a second family and it felt like home when she was with them. I felt so comfortable with them and I trusted Jill because of all the things that Em told me about her and the family. Jill makes a mean pancake and anyone who knew Em knew how much she LOVED breakfast and pancakes!! Emily told me that I should take lessons for Jill and that she would ask Jill for the recipe!! The Casey’s became a home away from home and a safe place. She loved John and used to tell me all sorts of stories about him and Patty. I felt so lucky to have Emily have such a good friend and a good family to rely on. Often there were times when I was certain that Emily preferred the Casey’s home over mine and that was difficult for me but I knew that she was with good people. By being able to develop more normally, away from me and the costant reminder of her disease, the Caseys’ gave Emily a richer life. Colleen and Emily had some difficult times before her death and I am not sure if they were ever totally resolved, but I can say this with my heart, Emily loved Colleen and all the Casey’s. They were family to her and are still considered that to me.

My Sister for ever…

I have to start this by apologizing for not coming on this website earlier. I guess I was afraid to because I still find it easier to live in denial. I always find my self talking about her in present tense, as though she’s just on vacation and then some moments I’ll be driving and just start crying because I remember that she is gone. I remember the first time that Emily and I really hung out, we were at a party and I was joking with one of my sorority sisters and I said, “I’m gonna mess you up KT style” (KT being the name of our sorority) and after that every other phrase that Emily said had “KT style” in it and all night she threatened to “mess people up KT style” I remember I drove her home that night and went back to my boyfriends house and I said “I love that girl!” I also remember taking her to get her industrial piercing that she was so proud of. We’re sitting in the piercing place and everyone in the room has a million piercings except me and Emily but the whole time she kept saying “I’m such a bad ass!” I was always so jealous of her because she was everything that I ever wanted to be. When I met her I thought, why can’t I be like that? I never understood it when she would ask me questions like, “are they mad at me?” or “do they not like me?” she never understood that EVERYONE loved her. She always use to call me when she was sick and I always offered to take her to the doctors or go check on her (which is why I don’t get why she didn’t call me) and she would never have it so I would just sit and talk to her for over an hour until she would either feel better or just be so sick of listening to me talk that she would at least say she felt better (probably the later of the two) but I was always happy to do it. She was the same when it came to giving her rides. She would offer me like $10 for gas money when I was only driving her like 2 blocks… I would get so frustrated “Emily you don’t need to pay me anything! I like driving you around, I just don’t want you to have to walk!” One of my other memories is the last conversation we had. I was dropping her off at home after our Sunday sorority meeting. We were discussing how busy our up coming week was going to be. When she was getting out of the car she said “I’ll give you a call later this week” and I said, “yeah, other wise I’ll see ya” because I knew that we might be too busy to see each other during the week and I just can’t get over I matter of factly I said “I’ll see ya” like it was a given… that’s my biggest regret… that I just assumed that I would see her again. I’m so angry that I didn’t have a chance to spend more time with her.

Emily and Colleen

I have so many memories of Emily and Colleen. Memories of them coming to our house after school, rummaging for food, talking about the days events, laughing. I remember the dances and the dresses and the pictures. Emily bravely let Colleen color her hair beach blonde. (I think her mother took her somewhere to get it fixed after that). Emily was very easy to talk to and seemed very comfortable with us. I noticed that the first time Emily slept over at our house. She woke up before Colleen and I asked her if she was hungry. She said yes and I made her some french toast. We talked while I made it and Emily well she ate alot. And I thought wow! a teenage girl who isn’t afraid to talk to her friend’s mother or to accept food. I knew I was going to like her right away. Emily slept at our house many times and we always enjoyed her presence. Half the time our house would be a mess but it never seemed to bother Emily. She was like a part of the family. I remember thinking when the girls were in high school how glad I was that they were friends because they had a beautiful friendship. When Colleen went off to college it was comforting to know that Colleen and Emily would be going to the same college. I remember Emily’s laugh. It lit up the room. And I agree with her father, I don’t think she ever took a bad picture.