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A Curious Case of Multiple Hat Disorder

Dear Vienna

Dear Vienna,

Today marks six months that have passed since you left this world. I still cannot wrap my mind around it.

My head knows all the “church” answers. You are fully healed now and you won the battle. You finished your race, well done! But my heart can’t make sense of it. It hurts so badly. It’s not fair. This is not how it was supposed to end. I know you are fully healed now but man why couldn’t it have been here on this side?

Not a day goes by that I don’t miss you terribly. Not a week goes by where AB doesn’t bring up your name. Both my girls sleep each night wrapped up under your blankets that Rhi Rhi gave us after you passed. AB carries around your orange bracelet in her purse. Lydia…she is starting to forget. I show her pictures but she just doesn’t remember much.

I miss having a cool aunt for Anna Beth. I miss the stern aunt for Lydia. I miss the fun aunt for Malachi that he never got to know. By the way, I saved the onesies and Chuck Taylor socks you got for Malachi for Auntie Rhi Rhi one day. I cried as we decorated our tree. All of my kiddos have special ornaments from you. I almost lost it when I pulled out the baby’s first Christmas ornament you had gotten for Malachi when he was born in March…almost as if you knew you wouldn’t be with us at Christmas.

I miss the 4 am texts. I miss you! I HATE cancer! I HATE that you weren’t healed! Tears fall uncontrollably down my cheeks when I drive past your street. I cannot take your address out of my GPS. Your name still shows up on Facebook Chat. I still reread all of the text you ever sent. I wish that I had more video of you. I miss hearing your voice.

My crazy stressful life was doable because I had you in my corner encouraging me. You were a sounding board. You gave me advice I never wanted to hear. You gave me fun advice too that I should never use. You kept me honest and made me stick to my values. You were there for me on some of my hardest days. The day Dustin had his stroke. The day I miscarried. When I had to move, you packed my first box. You also were with me the day that I had to leave the hospital without Malachi.

You would be so proud of Rhiannon. She has held her composure beautifully and gracefully. She looked stunning the day of your funeral. She is so strong. There is no doubt where she got her strength. In true “Vienna/Rhiannon” form refused our offers of help throughout the whole process. She is your living legacy and it is fun to watch.

Vienna, you were so positive, so giving, and so selfless! You, my dear sister, changed my life forever.

I don’t know how to end this letter to you so I won’t. Your obituary says it best:

“Through her life and memory, she will always be a shining example of how tremendous of a positive impact one person can have on so many people. She is proof that we can make a difference in others lives through love and kindness.”



  1. Thank you for this Lori. I have been thinking of this day and the time mark that it means to us. I hate that she isn’t here with us, I know she is always here with us. Just in a different way. I am so glad that she had your family in her life. That she had you in her life. I believe that you are a sister to V, and now to me. God has tested me 4 times over, I am not sure why. Vienna, in her final days, helped me see that there is a true God and that heaven is waiting for us all.
    So, I will honor Vienna with the health that she wanted me to have, more than I knew, and do some of the things that we were going to do together. All while a tear or two falls in rememberance of her. Love to you, Auntie Ang

    • I have been blue all week and it didn’t hit me till last night that it was connected to today, the 6 month mark. I had some ideas of what I wanted to write so I had been tossing them around all week. I feel liked whatever words I could have used or did use don’t matter because they do not do justice to how amazing Vienna was.

      One of the hardest parts of what I wrote was when I said that she had been with me on all of my toughest days. And it was true….its not that she was with me in spirit or a phone call away…God physically had her next to me. So then I thought about all of my toughest days recently and there was one day that she wasn’t with me, the toughest day yet and it was the day she left, but then I realized I had you. I wish we lived closer. I really do. It lessens the loss knowing I gained you.

      Seeing Vienna’s life is only an inspiration and an encouragement to want to get to Heaven so so soon. Hearing the story of how she passed totally renewed my faith. It only makes me believe so much more. God’s ways are so beyond my understanding. I just know I can’t stop believing now just because I don’t like something. (if that makes any sense)

      Love you bunches Auntie Ang!

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