I arrived home on June 2 at 11:30 p.m. and my family ended up staying awake until almost two in the morning.

The Colorado Avalanche was playing their second game in their series against the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the game ended up going into overtime. After Mikko scored the goal to put Colorado ahead 2-0 in the series, everyone went to bed.

Thursday included cleaning the house, getting a haircut (I had roughly five inches cut off so that it won’t be on my back during the summer) and eating a lot of pizza.

We had a lot to get done on Thursday as everyone was coming over on Friday. Besides cleaning the house, photos had to be gone through, food needed to be prepared and I had to take off my nail polish.

It was fun going through photos and going down memory lane as I found a few of me and my childhood best friend, Olivia, decorating Easter eggs in our baseball uniform.

Olivia and I did everything together in elementary school – playing sports, doing everything American Girl-related, talking about being left-handed and so much more. There was hardly a time when the two of us weren’t together.

I texted the photos I found to her and we relived the memories for a few minutes.

I found photos of me with my stepfamily at Christmas from when I was a toddler and it was cool seeing those again. There were ones from when I was in high school with my friends and from my graduation party. Then there were the photos of Gabby and I as we matched at least once a week in high school – most of the time it was unintentional, we just went shopping together way too often.

Everyone was up early Friday morning as we had to get to St. Joseph’s church.

We met my stepfamily in the parking lot and Courtney gave me the biggest hug when we saw each other. We haven’t seen each other in about seven years and were very close when I was growing up. Whenever they came up to visit, Courtney, dad and I spent most of the time chasing after each other with Nerf guns. We would also play a crazy amount of ping pong, foosball and air hockey. Courtney and I always lost to my brother, Tyler.

This time around, there weren’t any silly antics or Nerf guns. We also no longer have the ping pong, foosball or air hockey tables.

After talking to Courtney, Aunt Sheila, Aunt Sharron and Uncle Rick for a few minutes, we all headed inside the church.

It was different going to a funeral mass and only having her photo there, not her casket.

The mass started off with Amazing Grace playing. My mom’s cousin Lori and my grandma each did a reading. The priest talked for a little bit and we were all very confused when he started asking us questions. He wanted responses back with us and we weren’t sure what to do because we’ve never had to respond to a priest during mass before.

I kept mom’s pack of tissues in my hand and always knew when I needed to hand her one. She kept her head on my shoulder for most of the mass and I spent time rubbing her back.

After the mass was over, everyone headed back to our house. I spent most of the time with Courtney, Aunt Sheila, Aunt Sharron and Uncle Rick until they had to leave.

I then hung out with mom’s teacher friends for a while. It was really nice seeing them as I haven’t been able to go into school with mom in the past two years. I got the biggest hug from Roxanne as she retired a few years ago and has known me since I was about 2 years old.

I also talked with Julie, my mom’s best friend since birth, Mrs. Johnson and Stephen (Julie’s mom and brother) for a little while. They were asking about life in New Mexico and how work is going.

It was really great seeing everyone on Friday, as the majority of them I haven’t seen in a few years. It was a difficult day with the funeral mass, but seeing all of them made it so much better.

After the mass, it was a day full of laughs and talking about my grandma. I needed that and we were finally able to give her the funeral mass and memorial that she deserves, even if it was a year later due to COVID-19 restrictions.