The Alex Story
I grew up in a very loving family composed of my mom, dad, and big sister, Alex. Alex is three years older than me and always served as a role model in many aspects. We were very different, some would say night and day, but that's what made our relationship so fun. We both brought different things to the table.
We both loved to bake and eat sushi, binge watch our favorite TV shows together, and just spend time together poking fun at our parents. We had our fights and disagreements just like any other set of siblings, but we always went back to each other and I always considered Alex my best friend.
The last year two years of Alex's life (2012-2013) she struggled with a drug addiction. I knew the basics but didn't care to know the details. I looked beyond the addiction and pretended it wasn't even there. My sister was still my sister to me. We shared countless laughs, memories, and stories with one another. We talked about everything from boys to recipes, my college search and her internship search, we talked about the future and dream travels, and we talked as if it all was going to happen.
But on Friday, August 23rd, life changed with the flip of a switch. All of those plans and future goals evaporated with the snap of a finger.
It was the day before Alex was to depart for her semester abroad in Sweden and two days before I was to leave for my freshman year of college at the University of Minnesota. I was waiting in the kitchen for my mom so that we could run some last minute errands when I heard her shouting "Call 911 your sister isn't breathing"
From that moment on, life became kind of a blur. I called 911 and my dad because he was at work. I called our pastor and I called a friend. Within the next hour our house was flooded with people and my mind began searching high and low for a way to sort through all of this. Alex was gone. My life kind of floated away.
The days leading up to the funeral were foggy- filled with funeral planning and tears. To be honest, I don't remember those details. I just remember feeling numb- but I also remember all the friends and family that were there for us during those days. Glimpses of God were evident. I saw more of God in those days following Alex's death than I ever have.
Then, the day after Alex's funeral, we packed up the car and drove five and a half hours to the University of Minnesota to embark on my freshman year of college.
That fun, first semester of college quickly turned into a hard, difficult, insane adjustment. I'll spare you the details, but that first semester was really rough. So rough I made the decision to transfer to a much smaller school, much closer to home. I had some great memories from the U of M and I met some incredible people, but it just wasn't the school for me. It was also right around the time that I decided to transfer, that I decided to start this blog.
May 2014 marked some closure to Alex's story. Like I said, she passed away in August, but a trial ensued for nine months involving those having to do with her death. It was a long nine months, but when the trial came to an end, we were finally able to move on as a family and close that book.
Alex may not be here anymore, but she lives on. She lives on in our memories, in photographs, and in those around me. Her friends provide a piece of Alex to me and her old clothes and favorite books provide a glimpse into her. I always wonder what she would be like today. And I often wonder what my life would be like if she was still here. But I try not to dwell too much on it, and instead, I thank God for the 18 years I got with Alex and the memories that I will never forget.