I cannot believe that we have been without our Holland for a year now. Her star still shines brightly in our hearts and in our minds. Not a day goes by that I do not think of her, remember her, think of something she would have said in reply, or see something I know she would like. Just last week, the younger kids were watching a cooking video and the apron in the video was just like hers. Going to the pool and seeing the lifeguards throwing the football around - something she did and was really good at- simple things, but many reminders are all around. I know she is watching over us, just like we pray for her and pray she knows how much we love her. As a family, she is often quoted, often referenced and so very missed. Our house is so quiet without her music and the guitars are dusty. It has been hard. There are so many lessons that I continue to learn because of her. One of the quotes she said often is, "Pain is just weakness leaving the body". If that is the case, then this last year has definitely been one of strengthening, because it has definitely been painful.
Holland was determined, she was a hard worker. She was a great baker, even when it had to be gluten free. She never appreciated how good she was at anything and was definitely a perfectionist, yet she was very good at almost everything she really tried to do. She could make music out of anything, everything had a beat. She told the best bed time stories to her younger siblings and nieces and nephews. She had a kind heart and was really good at forgiving others. She was very intelligent, very analytical. She was good at setting goals and had a lot of tenacity to hang on in challenging circumstances. She had a firm belief in the power of prayer. She loved her family. I know I phrased this in past tense, but I know she still is all of the best of those things.
So many have continued to share their fond memories and experiences with Holland over this past year. There have been so many messages of love and continued love for our family as we continue to grieve. I don't know how long this will take, but I know it is still happening. I know that our lives are forever changed because of this, but our lives are also infinitely better because of having her in our lives, even if it was a short time. I know that Holland has a firm faith in Jesus Christ, I know that she is safe with him. My last conversation with her an hour before the accident ended with "I love you and you are in our prayers", she replied, "I know Mom, I love you, too". I think about that often. Holland loved sunset. I am really hoping for a beautiful pink sunset tonight.