Sunday, April 04, 2010

One Week+ Later

Hi, this is Julia, Alex’s sister. Those who know me know that I never post anything – I call myself a Facebook lurker, someone who enjoys reading what others are doing, but never thinks that anything they’re doing or thinking is worthy of posting.

So this is very unusual for me, to say the least. But these past few weeks have been both heart-wrenching and heart-warming at the same time, and I feel a little obligated to share some thoughts with you (dear reader).

Alex wasn’t just my brother; he was someone I enjoyed as a friend, someone I would have chosen to spend time with even if he wasn’t related to me. And I’ve been stunned and amazed at the number of people he touched, and the outpouring of support my Mom and I have received.

I mean, Alex has almost 350 friends on Facebook. I’m not sure I even know that many people. That’s the heart-warming part, knowing that Alex had connected with so many.

The heart-wrenching part is, of course, missing him. I’m thankful that his passing was relatively fast, as it was so painful to watch him deteriorate. I am even more thankful that his last day was filled with so many visitors, and that he was able to enjoy the time with them all. It really was one of the best days of that last week. But it’s still hard to accept that he’s gone, that there will never be another goofy moment with him.

The memorial service was a week ago today, his passing a week and a half. Seems like such a short time, and yet also so long ago. My Mom & I went to put some flowers down at the bluff today – it was raining & the wind was driving pretty hard. We tucked the flowers into the cypress log by the grassy area. It was a reminder on how fortunate we were to have the stunning weather at the memorial. At this point, they've probably been scattered by the winds, but that's fine, as Mom had wanted to throw them into the ocean but we were thwarted by the weather.

Regarding the memorial, we have to thank so many people for pulling it all together. I know Mom & I would have been overwhelmed if you hadn’t taken over & just planned everything. I also know that I’ll be missing people who either did things in the background or I just plain forgot – forgive me. But I want to thank these people again, hopefully a little more eloquently than what I said at the memorial.

Thank you, Blase, Alan, Janet, Serena, and Gloria for scouting out locations and doing all of the planning for the service.

Thank you, Serena for pulling together the slide show, with loads of assistance from Alan, Blase, Amina, and everyone else who sorted through the boxes & gigabytes of photos.

Thank you, Amina & Sarah, and I’m sure lots of the other high school folks for putting together the posterboards and helping to sort through Alex’s stuff.

Thank you, Jeff & Tom for the music, both at the service & the great playlist at the house afterwards.

Thank you, Mike Ying, Holly, Amina, and whoever else from the college crowd for getting the flowers & pulling together more photos.

Thank you, Mary, for really just being there and happy to help with everything from hauling truckloads to the dump or Goodwill to cleaning.

Thanks to all of the speakers at the memorial, both the planned & the impromptu. Angel, Monica, Janet, Jeff & Tom, Mike, David, Dana, Serena, Blase, Ryan, Kevin, Amanda, Amina (hopefully I didn’t miss anyone).

And I just have to thank Blase tremendously again. I thought he was strange at first for coming over all the time – I mean, didn’t he have a life? Why was he coming over everyday at lunch and in the evenings? But, as I said at the memorial, he saw what was coming before we did, and knew how hard it was going to be. And he really helped us through it – and continues to be a great source of strength & solace. Plus he’s a good blogger :-).

Thanks everyone. I hope our paths continue to cross.



Amy said...

Love you, Jules.

Lorea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lorea said...

A few weeks ago, a former classmate of Alex's from Stanford happened to post this blog. From Jalalabad, Afghanistan I spent the better part of a day reading about Alex's journey. I feel incredibly honored to have been able to have a glimpse of a young man who not only meant so much to so many of you, but that fought his illness head-on with an optimism and determination I have not seen in a very long time. Alex has inspired me to keep chugging along here with that same positive attitude, even though it often seems impossible. Thank you for the privelege to see into the world of an incredibly wonderful and decent human being. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Alex's friends and family. May you find peace.