June 10th, 2016
Yesterday our Ali girl relinquishes everything my son had given her before he left on his mission. I’m not sure who’s taking it harder, me, my girls or my son. We all loved Ali so much. Of course I had my doubts merely because she was just too young, but my son was so sure. Ali was his very first true love and I remember clearly the night he introduced her to me. After a huge win in their football game and all he wanted was for me and the rest of the family to be nice to her. We couldn’t help it though, Ali stole all our hearts with her innocence, sweetness and sincerity. The difference between us and her was that of night and day. She came from a wealthy family and we were poor as dirt but we had one thing she didn’t have and that was, the love of a “FAMILY”. Her parents were divorced, she lived with her sister and mom in a big old house by themselves and she embraced all of us like the family she never had. So sweet, so giving and she loved us.
Last we saw Ali was during Bingham’s High School graduation last year. She graduated together with Pati. After that she was in full preparation mode for college and off she went. We all missed her and then slowly the news trickled in that she already acquired a boyfriend. At first I felt devastation for my son because I knew how much he was counting on her waiting for him. He often said I jinxed it for them because I told him straight to his face: “These relationships rarely worked. Ali is too young and people change when they go on their mission.” I was speaking from experience as I had two boyfriends that left on their mission. I thought I’d never get over it but after 2 months, I was good. It was on to better things and more boyfriends. Ali was going through the same thing. Puppy love for her but for my Mo, she was his world. Well, I had warned him that he didn’t need any girlfriend to mess with his head before he leaves on his mission but he insisted that he can handle it. I know he’s already adjusted to the fact that there won’t be any Ali waiting with a sign: “WELCOME HOME ELD. TOKI” at the airport. Two years was simply too long of a time to wait.
Seeing her yesterday was bittersweet. She’s still the bright-eyed, sweet and gentle girl that we know. Same heart-warming smile that stole our hearts through her sincerity and love. She still loves us and we can tell, but something has definitely changed and that’s the way life goes. We can’t stop change no matter how hard we try. When she finally bid her farewells, we hugged and say our “I love you’s”. Sadly I have a feeling we will probably not going to ever see our Ali girl again.
After she left we all gather round the forlorn looking box. It was not sealed or taped. We opened it and the girls let out their “Awh’s and Ohh’s” as we dig through the items one by one. Everything from jewelry, candies, $1 bill, $20 Gold Coin and his State Championship ring. Everything was returned in an absolute good condition. She hadn’t left one thing for herself and that goes to show, she’s done and have moved on. My heart was heavy as I held his beautiful football ring up. All we have in this life is memories. They are treasures of how we lived and loved. Things like these, reminds us of seasons in the past. Times and people that has shaped our hearts and we either hold their memories dear to us to make us smile again and again or make us weep with longing and sadness for what we’ve lost. We’ve lost our Ali girl but I know her friendship remains with us inside our hearts. We are grateful that we got to know her and had a moment in time with her and her family. We’ve learned unconditional love and she gives of everything she can afford to give us. From furniture, to dishes, clothes, shoes and the very bed we sleep in. Through her the Lord was able to meet our needs at that specific time and place. The Lord always works in mysterious ways. Mostly it’s through people that He’s able to provide for His children that are in need. He gave us Ali in a time where we needed her the most.