a different kind of update

This events of this weekend were highlighted with remembering Angela Liljenquist Weimer. After battling stage 4 melanoma, Ange passed away Saturday, April 25 surrounded by family. I'm usually okay at viewings, but this one was tough. I wasn't even sure if I'd be able to approach her casket. I hadn't wanted to go alone, so walked in the funeral home and immediately caught the eye of my friend Brian. From where he was standing with a few friends, I could see her hands which looked sallow and surreal.

When I finally mustered up the strength to pay my respects, sure that I'd be able to hold back the tears, I couldn't help but notice how unlike herself she looked, but still so young. I half expected her to smile, open her eyes and say, "Surprise! I was just faking." Saturday's weather was perfect for a funeral. Drizzly and gray. Her bishop announced the opening song, "He is Risen" and Elyse and I looked at each other in disbelief. "Really? At a funeral?" As hard as it was to sing the words, there couldn't have been a more appropriate hymn.

During her sister's reading of the eulogy, it was sweet to reflect back on my own memories of Angela, how at BYU-Hawaii, we shared a love for the sun...her mantra was "no tan lines". Maybe that wasn't such a good idea after all, Ange :]. How we tried to sneak around campus in short shorts and tank tops to get to the beach or the bus to Waikiki or North Shore. She was my dive buddy and quickly became one of my favorite people. We lost touch at the end of that summer and recently reconnected when she was in Utah for treatment at the end of last year.

I will cherish our last conversations as we discussed her struggle and positive outlook and our regrets for not keeping better tabs on each other during, what she called, our parallel lives. We served in bordering missions and each completed a masters degrees in fields we decided not to pursue. She, however, has achieved much more than I have and truly lived her mortal life to its fullest. My heart and prayers will continue to go out to her sweet family. When her bishop was giving his closing remarks, he spoke to her husband, Paul, and reminded us all that the Lord placed a veil between our world and the other side. Not a wall, not a mountain range, nor a blockade, but a veil--thin and permeable, allowing us to glimpse the shapes of what is to come.

The words on the inside of her program speak volumes.

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange things happened to you; But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12-13

I found myself relating to another friend, "People our age aren't supposed to die from cancer." But really, who am I to say what is supposed to be or not be. Angela is a great example to me and everyone who knew her of living with joy and without reservation. Life is definitely too short not to grab life by the horns and run!


em ♥ muffin said...

come back..................

Anonymous said...

You are beautiful Angela...I miss you and will love you always!