Yesterday I attended the funeral for Holland Young, daughter of Aleta and Bryan Young. It was a tender and difficult experience. But before I discuss the details and emotions of that day, I would like to first give a little background on mine and Aleta's relationship.
Aleta and I were buds and coworkers at Authorize.Net. Quite often you could find us exchanging quotes from "The Office" and sharing some microwave popcorn from the break room together. I loved talking and laughing with Aleta. She is sweet, down-to-earth, and one of those people I could just talk to forever. Not only that, she was easily one of the few I really missed seeing on a daily basis after I quit working and Toby became my full-time job. However, we continued to set-up lunch dates to catch up on life. A little over a year after Toby was born, baby Holland was born. Aleta and I still had our lunch hang-outs and began to share stories of breastfeeding and parenting woes. I had the privilege of meeting Holland on a few of those lunch dates. I smile thinking about Aleta sharing a Cafe Rio salad with Holland and not being able to get the food in her mouth fast enough. Holland was a true foodie! At another lunch date I remember a few scowls from Holland. It cracked me up. She wasn't quite sure of me, which did not bother me at all. I loved that she was her own person and didn't put on a front on for anyone. What Aleta and I really connected over was the non-stop energy and both Toby and Holland had. We exchanged all kinds of stories about how they seemed to be one of the few kids that could go, go, go and never run out of steam. And never fall asleep in public - no matter how tired they were. I loved reading about all the adventures with Holland on Aleta's blog. She was a crackup and seemed to love and live life to the fullest.
Not long after Holland's 3rd birthday, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After a 14-month valiant battle, that included 5 surgeries and 7 months of chemo, she passed away. The news hit hard. I instantly grabbed Toby and Aspen and gave them a teary hug.
As said, I attended Holland's funeral services yesterday. Most of those who attended were in yellow, as it was Holland's favorite color. It was a beautiful, humbling sight. I loved hearing all the stories of Holland's life, but what was truly touching were the words from her daddy describing their sweet friendship and bond.
Aleta, I sure love you. As a mother, my heart breaks for you. I hope you feel the arms of the Savior carrying you through this. I will continue pray for you and your precious family. Holland was truly a one-of-a kind, beautiful girl who will never be forgotten...