The four of us are bound together in the water. Allistaire is linked to me and I to Sten, Sten to Solveig. We’re out there, floating along, living life. Then something dark comes and latches onto Allistaire and starts pulling her down. I’m flailing, trying to pull her up, my own face and mouth gulping water, waves lashing. Sometimes that thing is so small, we barely notice it. Most often we manage it. Regardless, it’s always there, always threatening, looming. Though the times where the black thing swells and we are all being pulled down into the water is familiar, the terror is always sharp and stinging. Panic. Gasping for breath. But we’ve fought it so long…it is the fifth member of our life.
And then…with no seeming warning, that black presence swells with exponential density…Allistaire is snatched off the line. We wail, we scream, but there’s nothing we can do. We watch her being pulled under, down, down, down into the deep dark of water. She disappears from our sight.
We bouey up.
Our striving ceases. All of sudden there is quiet. No longer need for exertion. There is finally a release of the tension, the ever-ringing backdrop gone. There is no longer a tug, a constant pull on the line.
But now we are three and this relief has come at the cost of our sweet girl, our beloved Allistaire.
It suddenly occurred to me the other day that I have taken the last picture of Allistaire. There are no more pictures to be taken. No new stories to tell.
On Saturday, June 11th, 2016, we will be having two separate services. In the morning around 10:30/11:00am, there will be the opportunity to worship God, to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ who calls those that follow Him out onto the water, who asks us to lay down our lives and entrust our whole selves to Him, the One True God, the Holy God, the God who is other and infinite. In the evening, we will focus our time on remembering our beloved Allistaire Kieron Anderson and the incredible community of folk that have been such an amazing support along this difficult road. All are invited to come to either or both services, but please understand they are for very distinct purposes. There will be more details to come.
**Seattle folks – I’m sorry to say, that while I really wanted to be able to hold some sort of memorial out there, I just don’t think I can make it happen. I’m bone tired and so we invite you to come to the Big Sky State – the homeland Allistaire so loved.
***If you would like to offer housing to folks coming in from out-of-town for the memorial OR if you are interested in staying with a local family, please contact my sister-in-law Jessica at either “firstname.lastname@example.org” or (406) 850-3996.
Lastly, a 3 minute Obliteride promo video featuring Allistaire was just released today. Allistaire and I both have invested a great deal of time and heart into allowing her story to be told in order that people would be compelled to join the effort to accelerate cancer research and find cures faster – so moms won’t have to tell their little girls that they are going to die because there is no more medicine to fight their sickness.
Please, it would be bring me joy, if you would take a moment and see our sweet girl’s smiling face and goofy laugh in this OBLITERIDE VIDEO.
Thank you to all who have so generously given to support me in Obliteride and fund cancer research. For those who have yet to do so but would like to, you can donate in my name in honor of Allistaire and/or those you love who are battling or have battled cancer, HERE. Please know that 100% of funds donated go directly to cancer research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (of which our local Bozeman Cancer Center is connected via Seattle Cancer Care Alliance – a collaboration between Fred Hutch, the University of Washington, and Seattle Children’s Hospital).
Sending my love.
May your anchor always be the Lord Jesus Christ! We love you.
We pray every single day for you, Sten, and Solveig. Brittney and I wanted so desperately to come to Bozeman to remember and celebrate Allistaire’s life, but my son Brandon has his graduation that day. I am so very sad that we can’t be there with you. I hope someone might volunteer to video both services so that those of us that can’t be there can worship with you, and remember with you as well. Sending our love and prayers always and forever!
I have followed your journey for sometime as my son has cancer! I appreciate your honesty and your words pointing back to Jesus! In a journey where he isn’t brought to the front often enough thank you for sharing him, thank you for praising him in the middle of this storm, thank you! I think of you often and wonder what your sweet baby is experiencing in the presence of Jesus! Hang in there!
I love the video. She will be be remembered for the fierce, funny, silly, strong, and delightful girl she was. May you all find physical, emotional and spiritual rest in the days ahead. You are thought of and prayed for often.
Allistaire the baker- and the artist!!! Yes, sweet girl, you are both! You are anything you want to be- you are free. But we so grieve every ounce of you. My family felt the pain of your sweet life taken, we still cry at your pictures, your mother, oh your mother, who shared every detail of your brave battle, we cry, we smile and laugh at your ever so vivacious little being. We pray at night, we have family up in heaven with you, we have comfort that they are one with you. My daughter, age of Allistaire asked her grandpa in heaven to please hug Allistaire- hard, she said, a big bear hug. Welcome, little one. Oh my, the hearts you touched.
But your mother, just as fierce as you, taught my family about cancer research. We will fight this battle, fierce as you and your entire family.
To the little girl with blonde locks of hair, perfectly placed dimples, and a personality that no one could ever match….you have forever touched our family.
Thank you for continuing to share your life with us, Jai. It means so much to us to hear from you, even those of us who love you from afar. We do love you.
That video was beautiful. Very beautiful. I loved hearing and seeing Allistaire’s silliness, joy, and strength. It is so precious.
Jai, I watched the obliteride video of Allistaire and I sobbed for the 100th time for this strong girl. I just want you to know that in my 36 years of pediatric nursing I have never experienced this kind of reaction to a patient’s illness and death. You, Allistaire and your incredible fight over the last 4 years has changed me in ways I don’t understand completely but I know I have to take a more active role in fighting childhood cancer, I want to ride my bike in obliteride, I want to give more and more. I want to stop this from happening to another sweet family. I love you and words cannot express how sorry I am thats you’ve lost your sweet Allistaire.
The faith and joy you have demonstrated, coupled with your pain, is difficult to comprehend. Thank you for your wonderful testimony of Christ’s love amidst this–it completely shines through. My prayers go out to both you and your family during this time
He is so glorified in you Jai. We are worshiping with you in spirit. We have prayed so hard for your family and still do. My son still last night when I asked him who he wanted to pray for his reply was “Allistaire. I want to go play with her”. Me too son, me too and someday we will.
I am aware of Allistair’s fight through your mother-in-law. I am sorry for your loss, and am praying for comfort for the entire family.
P.S. You may want to update your story page on the Obliterude.
beautiful video of your gorgeous girl ~ thank you for sharing. I continue to think of you all as time somehow keeps moving forward even though I’m sure you would rather it just stopped… The season after my husband died was altogther different and as you said, silent – opposite the desperate and chaotic life of fighting cancer. I hope you find yourselves surrounded by Love and carried through by the Grace of Papa. hugs from a stranger!
I am so, so very sorry to hear about your family’s loss. Though it was 2 years ago and you have met so many people, I taught Solveig and Allistaire swim lessons at Lone Mountain. Both such sweet, loving, and fun girls. I know that there are no words that can help heal and that even with time it may get easier, but never easy, please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I was deeply saddened by this news and I know your family has already been through so much. My most heartfelt condolences.