Lost a friend today
I have such mixed feelings right now — tears of sorrow and a glimmer of joy for my dear friend Morning Glory Annie Jane (Cody) Leinen. Annie and I were friends from eighth grade and we always enjoyed each other’s company. We had many fun times together and many laughs. Annie and I grew through highschool and always remained friends. We had a tragedy in highschool that really shook everyone up because my friend Annie was involved very deeply. A friend of ours was killed and Annie was in trouble. I knew that though this experience was very difficult that Annie would come through because of her strength. I visited her at home many times trying to cheer her up and encourage her though now I look back on it in my very immature way (high school) I’m sure I wasn’t much of an encouragement except maybe just my presence being there to support and love her.
Annie, just as I thought, came through with flying colors. She started her life over again, met a wonderful man whom she married and jumped both feet in to loving Christ with all her heart. I have never been more proud of someone in my life. Annie had plowed through difficulty only to come out the other side as gold. She had been refined and was a new creation through our Savior. Over the years she gave birth to her first-born son and was the type of mommy to him that I strive to be with my daughter. She researched, loved and cared for him by using her head and not just going with the flow — she always did things her way and did it out of her own decisions and not those of mainstream advocates or doctors. Annie taught many other people about delayed vaccinations, using glass instead of plastics, and cloth diapering. She then had her second son and kept up the work… being a stay at home mom and raising her boys. Not long afterward she was pregnant a third time. Three months before she was due, she was found to have stage 4 melanoma which had taken over her lungs. She was then put through an emergency c-section and delivered a healthy 28 week old baby boy, Colton. Annie made daily trips to the NICU to visit and hold Colton, between treatments. She never wavered in faith and I could see was only growing stronger.
I am very proud to have my daughter named Annie — there were many factors in the choice of the name. My Grandmother’s Grandmother was named Annie, my mother-in-law’s middle name is Ann, my Grandmother’s name is Ann and my dear friend was named Annie. I remember telling Annie after I had delivered my daughter that she was born and that her name was Annie Adele… She said, “Oh, you named her after me huh?!” With a big wink afterward, half-joking. I told her that she really did have a big sway in the factor and then told her how proud I was of her. I hope that she really understood when I told her that… Annie was a big inspiration for me. I loved her very much and now rejoice knowing she is pain-free waiting to be reunited with her family and friends in heaven. She knew Christ Jesus as her savior, and for that I am deeply thankful. I hope that Craigy, Cody and Colton all grow to know what a fantastic woman Annie, their mommy was and how deeply she loved them. God gave Annie three boys because he knew that of all the people in the world, she could handle it. I certainly don’t know why He took her home so early but know that there is always a purpose and I just hope that some of her unsaved family will see her light and want to follow Him just as she did.
Rest in peace my friend.