When I moved to Australia, I met Irra. She became one of my closest friends, and she and her family really helped me through the difficult transition of moving across the world. I spent so many wonderful occasions with Irra's family: her 18th birthday, my "surprise" 18th birthday, dances, weddings, etc. It's hard to believe that it's been over 3 years since I've seen her. I don't think I've ever adequately thanked her for all she's done for me, and I wish I could at least spend time with her again. Especially now. On November 3, her brother passed away unexpectedly. Being thousands of miles away, I had to piece together the information from what I could gather on facebook. I read the hundreds of notes from family and friends, all reeling from the shock, but all full of love for Donny and for the life he led.
I am remembering one night with Donny, over on the east side of Melbourne at a dance with Irra and Caroline and Sanna and Jackson, and I remember his huge smile and his kind actions. I don't think I can remember knowing anyone more cheerful and loving. I don't remember much of what happened, but I do remember the feeling of friendship and acceptance.
Donny and Sanna
Me and Irra
I wanted to post this because here in Utah, I don't have friends that know Donny or Irra, or their beautiful family. I feel the need to remember Donny myself, and I don't know how else to do that. I want to talk with them, mourn their loss, rejoice in the knowledge that they WILL see Donny again someday. I want to thank all of them for the love and friendship they offered me when I needed it most. And most of all, I want to thank them for their example as they said goodbye to their beloved brother: I read only positive words of remembrance, love, gratefulness, and appreciation from Irra and her sisters. Love for their brother, love for their God. Faith that there is more than this life.
So this is for Donny, and for Irra, and for their family.
God be with you till we meet again.