Alanna went to be with the Lord yesterday morning just before 6:00. Her entire family was with her, and she spoke to them up until about the last 10 minutes or so. It's good that she's no longer in pain.
Being Irish through and through, I'm not surprised that she picked St. Patrick's Day as the day of her departing. I will never forget how much life she brought into a room. Even in death, her hospital room was a party.
On that note, I finished the prayer shawl I was making for her at 1:00 that morning before I went to bed. I had intended to take it to Alanna yesterday after work, but now her daughter Anni has it. She needs it more than anything right now. She loves it and I've heard from several people at church that they've seen her with it a lot.
When I was at the Hering's house yesterday, we sat around and listened to Jim tell a story about Alanna from when she worked as a clown: It was his first year of seminary, and he had class the evening of his birthday. During a lecture with a very hard and not very pleasant/forgiving professor, the door opened slightly and in popped a clown head. Jim knew it was Alanna as he watched her walk around the room with a huge bouquet of balloons and look each person very closely in the face until she "found" Jim, gave him the balloons, and left the room without saying a word. By the time he finished the story, we were all laughing hysterically with tears rolling from our eyes. This is the Alanna we all knew, one who could make us laugh.
There is an informal memorial service for her tomorrow evening at church, but I won't be here for her actual service on Saturday. I would have liked to have been there, but on the other hand, I feel like seeing Alanna before she passed gave me enough closure. She was so sick.
Now, Heaven is lucky to have her. I'll bet she's up there somewhere joking around and making everyone laugh like she did for us.