I met Emilee soon after moving to Baltimore.  She was fun and friendly and sweet and I liked her immediately.  She was in primary with me and her little boy Miles was a year younger than Jilly.  That fall she told us she was pregnant.  She was super super sick with her pregnancies so she wasn't able to get out very often.  I took her dinner 1-2 times a month and stayed to visit and have the girls play with Miles.  I loved getting to know her this way, Emilee was THE most gracious person and wrote me a thank you note every single time I brought dinner.  In May she had Emerson and she was so excited to finally feel better and have her sweet baby there.  Just a few weeks after Emerson was born we went out to Cheesecake Factory with a few friends and it was SO fun.  I remember thinking how lucky and grateful I was to have these Baltimore friends, and we had lots of fun plans for the summer/fall.

One morning that August I got a text from Emilee that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was shocked and so, so sad.  I asked if I could bring dinner that night and she said that would be great.  I cried the whole way there and had no clue what to say to her.  She gave me a huge hug, it felt like she was comforting me.  Em would always always say "it's all going to be okay."  Just a couple weeks later Emilee and her boys left for treatment in Utah.  All of her family lived there so she could get a lot of help.  We'd get updates from her family, texts from Emilee when she was feeling up to it, and her husband Brad was still working here and visiting Utah every two weeks so we had him over for dinner often.  All year long we prayed for her and followed along as she did her treatments.  In June she had finished her chemo and radiation and had a scan that found no cancer, we were expecting her home in the fall- hooray!

But in July they found a tumor in her brain that they removed quickly then did some more radiation.  We all crossed our fingers.  Then in the Fall the cancer returned again and was very aggressive.  We'd get updates from our friend Alli who lived in Utah, and often the updates came very late because of the 2 hour time difference.  I was up in the middle of the night nursing Livvy, who was just a few weeks old, when I got the most heart-wrenching message- the cancer was spreading quickly and there was no treatment that would give her any quality of life so she was going to spend the rest of her time at home with her family, they expected her to live for about 8 more weeks.  We were devastated.  We wrote down memories and letters to send to Emilee and her family, and we made videos for her.  Emilee was too sick to respond but we'd get updates from her family and from Alli.

On December 10th we were at our Ward Christmas party and I got a text during the opening prayer.  It was Brad, telling us that Emilee had passed that day.  My friend Erin was across the room and I could tell that she hadn't seen the message yet.  I made my way over to her and she said she could tell from my face what the news was.  We cried together for a minute before leaving with our families to go caroling.  The next week was kind of a blur, the Christmas message seemed extra sweet, we held our kids extra tight, and talked A LOT about Emilee and what an angel she was/is.

It's been a few months now, but I think about Emilee all the time.  She was a wonderful, patient, kind, lovely person.  She was full of faith and optimism no matter what.  She's helped me to be more grateful and patient and to remember to find joy in all circumstances.

(This is sadly the only picture I have of Emilee, she's the one at the very bottom)