So I turned 35 years old a couple months ago and it feels pretty good. I feel like I have had some challenges these past two years that have really caused me to pause and reevaluate my dreams, my vision, my mission, and even look back at where I come from and what I may still carry with me that does not serve me.. That being said, I have never been so aware of how blessed I am to be here on this earth and take up space and live full of heart with passions, dreams and desires and be the best mama I can be to Selah and Grayson.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about Amy Christine, one of my longest and dearest friends. I have been reflecting on just how much she impacted my life and how her legacy lives on through the memories I share with my kids and the stories I tell them about her. Selah asks lots of questions about her and often asks me if, she hears us from heaven... What I wouldn't give to get to have one more hug, one more coffee date... one more text message... one more running date with my double wide jogger, chatting about fitness, dating, ( I am just listening to all her dating mishaps)... nursing, amazing trips, adventures unfolding, running races, and faith.. We had the best talks about life and we did not always agree but we always understood one another and honored each other with compassion even in our differences.. We laughed til we cried and we cried til we laughed... I have shared some of the most intimate and painful times with her and and she sat with me in it. Amy was so gentle, and had a quiet courage that let me be a mess, and grieve my guts out when life felt like it was going to swallow me. She never left.
There will probably be a book written about this young lady and all that she accomplished and all the mountains she conquered, and rivers she navigated... She had a contagious laugh that you couldn't help but we drawn too and laugh with. She had a sarcastic, witty humor that got me every time.. she was ridiculously stubborn, and oh so so bossy.. she thrived when she was in charge, especially charge nurse. She was an outstanding nurse, who cared for her patients and paid close attention to every detail. The elderly gentlemen loved her and loved to tease her, she was all business but would always give a half smirk and her blue eyes twinkled. This girl was the most loyal friend i have ever known. She loved people and she pursued people, like nobody I have ever known. She added value wherever she went and more importantly created community everywhere. She was always organizing, inviting, and connecting people together. She was never catty, or jealous. She spoke life and created a band of warriors... She would always tell me who my next friend should be and I am forever grateful for that. She gave with such an abundance of love.
One of my most favorite memories was where this picture was taken. We worked the same days at the hospital and had a 3 day stretch off.. She asked if I wanted to go hike and adventure I said, "sure" reluctantly... not knowing what this would look like... Amy liked to cram a lot in during her days off. So we headed down to Seward and we hiked Mt. Marathon this evening, For those that don't know this is a world famous Mountain race that draws the best mountain runners in the world to conquer her in less than an hour. This mountain is short but oh so so steep and no joke on the knees coming down. I am so glad I did this on a bluebird day, it was breathtaking and left an imprint on my mind that I will never forget. We camped that night and the next morning we did a 16 mile run to Lost Lake, which is a beautiful mountain run through the mountains around several lakes, and looks like where The Lord of the Rings was filmed. .It was epic and such a beautiful late summer day. We showered in town at the laundry mat and then went and had oysters and a beer... I think my legs were shot... and she looks up at me with a twinkle in her eye and says, " lets head down to Homer for the night HOlls, and go to Halibut Cove."... that sounded so perfect, as I was wiped out.. So we did, and we took The Danny J, an old wooden boat to Halibut Cove for dinner....it was magical. Everything is made from scratch and the menu changes depending on the catch of the day. Fresh seafood, fresh salads with edible flowers on top to add color and flavor... amazing wine and freshly baked pies.... It's seriousl the best food. The boardwalk path around the cove is blissful and the horses were out roaming the hill. I did not want to leave.. its truly one of my favorite places on earth. We headed back to camp on the Homer spit and sit by a fire til late in the night chatting about life, being married, babies, nursing, and travel... and of course lots of political chats... she loved to talk about her political options with me... the next morning, Amy is up early and says, "Holls, lets go for an easy jog and grab coffee and head back home"... I reluctantly agreed as my legs were so stiff but I loosened them up with a run... After we grabbed breakfast we jumped in my 4- Runner and turned up the music and headed to Anchorage... It was such a beautiful day as we started to drive around the cliffs on the Turnagain Arm, I could feel Amy shift and move and I knew she was about to suggest another activity... I was hoping she would let it go but she didn't... Amy says, "you want to do something really crazy?"
"What are you thinking, Amy....?"
"Lets hike up Bird Ridge and just see how we feel and how far we get, but no pressure"...
I never wanted to be the wimp, even though I was often the more timid one... but seriously, I am sore, tired and happy but I needed a nap...
"Sure, as long as we can be chill"... I said.
Well sure enough we began hiking this steep mountain but by the time we were half way up, we couldn't turn around... to miss the view at the top would be just wrong... so we hiked Bird Ridge to close out our insane 3 days off and it was my first time going to the top of Bird Ridge... Today I am forever grateful for that trip with her and will always remember how much she pushed me and got me to do crazy things.
I will never forget the moment I found out you left this earth. It brought me to my knees and felt guttural, I couldn't breathe... there was so much snow and I had to pullover and just grieve until I couldn't anymore. I am grateful for the grief and loss I felt because you matter and it honors how much you meant to me. I still cry driving down the road or listening to Spotify on my runs... I still talk to you like your still here.. and the most beautiful gift is that I have treasures from you.. a doll for Selah, my pottery dish for my jewelry.... house decor and art.. all beautiful reminders of memories with you and I get to tell my kids about you and who you were and how much I love you. Selah plays with her doll and says, "Auntie Amy gave me this and she is in heaven but someday I will see her again"... I know I will see you again. You left an incredible legacy that I get to share with my baby girl and baby boy. You rose to the occasion and you played big... You challenged yourself and faced your fear, you felt it, you owned it, you talked about it and you walked through it. You taught me so much about life and about myself.. You encouraged me and challenged me.. I am a better person because of you. Your memory and your strength and courage lives on. I share stories about you and your character with my daughter and know that because of you I am more willing to push through hard things and to face my fears, my little girl will learn to be brave, to have courage and to have heart.
Love you to the Moon and Miss you Long Time Amy Christine~
My name is Holly Boyer and I am a life long Alaskan, mama of two of the most precious babies, and wife to my soulmate.