Andi at Ben and Alex's birthday dinner (2/9/12)
Andi in the red shirt at babies' birthday party (10/11)
Nearly a month ago we sadly lost Chris's sister... Andrea J. Johnson. Andi was always a very loving and supportive sister to Chris, an adoring aunt to the boys and the babies, a faithful daughter to Dave and Gerry, and a wonderful friend to everyone who knew her.
It was a very unexpected passing that shocked all of us. We are thankful to Steve, her fiancé who had made her so happy this past year. They were building a new home and making all the final plans for their wedding scheduled for this summer. She was at a really good place in life -- enjoying much success at work and looking forward to a beautiful new life with Steve. Alex put it best when he said "I'm not done with Aunt Andi... I wasn't done with seeing her."
I guess that's how we all feel when we lose a loved one -- we feel like we are not "done" with everything we wanted to do and share with them. Today out of the blue when Ben was sitting quietly after spending time at the Skate Park, he was just staring out the window and he said "Poor Aunt Andi, she won't be able to go to her wedding anymore." I know it was never a real consolation to me when people would tell me this about my parents, but I told him "She is in the most beautiful place on the universe now... better than any wedding could ever possibly be! She's happy." It's been a tough lesson for the boys to learn, and a hard reality for the rest of us to accept that she will no longer be physically with us. We are happy of all the great times we all shared with her and will forever honor her memory. Ben likes to look at videos of Andi on his iPhone that he took of her in February. I'm glad he can do that.
It's taken me a long time to write this entry because there is really nothing I can say to encapsulate what a loving person she was to the people in her life. If you knew her, you know that her nephews were her joy, KU basketball was nothing short of awesome, and Husker football was... well... everything in Nebraska revolves around Husker football!!
While growing up she was Chris's #1 fan in everything he did. She rarely ever missed a game -- whether he was in high school playing or coaching college players on the sidelines she was always proud to talk about her brother's success on the basketball court. In many ways she gave me a glimpse of what a devoted partner I should turn into for Chris because Gerry and Andi have always surrounded him with such an abundance of love and support. No words can really give tribute to her ability to love, her ability to share a laugh and make everyone feel better, her ability to always give an encouraging word, and most importantly her ability to give. She always gave her best to those she loved, it was her way of showing she cared. I hope I can learn to give as much as she did. She has left quite a legacy.