Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Celebration of Life

Hello Everyone,
I should have written sooner to tell everyone how Monday evening went but this is the best I could so.  I'm sorry many of you have received word through the grapevine but I'll catch everyone up as best I can.
So....Monday night was our "Celebration of Life"!  At the last minute the event was changed from the main gym to the auditorium and I think it actually worked out much better.  The evening began with a word of prayer by Lindseys grandfather, Darwin Cottle.  I thought I would be in trouble the rest of the night as he choked through his prayer filled with emotion but this was to be a celebration and we wanted it to be a happy evening. 
I got the chance to say a few of my favorite things about Lindsey and about Lindsey and Josh briefly.  I just want you to know that I could have gone on for a long time but the little bit I shared I really hope people got a feel of the connection between these 2 amazing people.  Pam told a little bit of Lindseys medical past and Todd (Lindsey's Dad) added the humor the evening needed between performers.  We had cousins choirs that were touching and Lindsey's little sister, Savannah, sang an awesome song she had written for Lindsey that she had only written 3 days before.  Her sis in law and aunt sang and her brother also sang a song he had composed for Lindsey.  Her uncle, Jeff Cottle, put together a slide show of Lindseys life.  Oh gosh....I was glad it was dark.  I loved every minute of watching her beautiful life condensed down to a few minutes of slides but it really captured the essence of her life which is full of happiness and laughter.  It never focused on whay may be lost but what the possibilites of life can be.  Mark was videoing the evening and unfortunately, I didn't get to sit by him but he said he had tears running down his cheeks during the slideshow.  We were entertained with an amazing Jazz band, the Rich Dixon band, then Lindsey and Josh were able to address the audience.  They really were able to speak to us as if they were carrying on a conversation with an intimate group.  They publicly shared their journey together and love love for each other.  Finally, Joe McCausland, from the band Afterglow and Enoch Train, sang some love songs for Josh and Lindsey and they had "the dance of a lifetime" and invited us into their moment.  Again, the tears flowed freely at this simple expression of love, concern, joy, the sharing of 2 lifes during this incredible journey. 
We then broke and all moved to the Student Center where there was music, fun, laughter, photos and video messages being taken.  The interesting thing was that no one, for the most part, was in a hurry to leave, even though the program had already taken us to 9p.  I need to make sure to thank Jenna Myers, who tirelessly worked to get that awesome Photo Booth donated!  It was a real hit and provided such a wonderful momento of the evening we all shared together.  Also, members of her ward headed up the decorating, clean-up, etc....  So many people emailing and asking what they could do to help, etc.  This is a big part of what made the evening one to remember.  People willing to step in, donate their time and talents, give of themselves, and take the pressure off the families.  Thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Last thing, well second to last thing. At 5:55 pm  every single day, please set your phone alarms and say a silent prayer, send your love and light, healing energy, positive thoughts, etc.  Whatever works for you direct them to Lindsey.  I spoke to her last night and she said she literally felt it yesterday afternoon.  We can and have done amazing things, let's continue to create miracles.
Moving forward:  Lindsey and Josh left for the Mayo clinic this morning to explore other alternative options.  As Lindsey said, the medical community has thrown in the towel and says there is no more they can do so Lindsey is looking for things that an be done.  We will keep you informed.  She begins treatment tomorrow.
Love you all!

P.S. - I forgot to mention that we filled the High School Auditorium with near 700 PEOPLE!!  We were also able to make a dent in their medical bills with the $$ which were donated.  Josh printed up cards to pass out of Lindsey's life statement and the link to make a donation.  If any of you are interested in handing these out to family and friends, please let me know and I will make sure to get you some. 
What a beautiful show of love and support!  Again, thank you, thank you!!