Joy | Grief | Action | Change

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Alli. I have been friends with Brittani, Ashlee, and the Senser/Rackner family for almost 24 years. They are the sisters I never had. We are family even when we don’t want to be. Gini refers to me as her “3rd daughter.” We are sisters. I was at the hospital when Aria was born. I was there when Bugs picked her own name(she for real did!). We have been together for countless celebrations and outings. She was a beautiful Jr. bridesmaid in my wedding.  Since the moment Aria was born she was “one of us.”  We brought her everywhere we went. Whether we went to dinner, shopping, the mall, or church!! She literally became our instant best friend. We all loved her so much. We wanted her to come everywhere with us!! It was NEVER like,

“Oh Britt has to bring the baby.” 

NO, Bugs was all of our baby!! Outings weren’t nearly as fun without her. She was so loved. Being in her presence was amazing.

Below, a picture of Aria at my wedding as a Jr. Bridesmaid on June 7th, 2014.

In August of 2018, 6 months before Aria passed, I wanted to go visit Ashlee in LA.  I hadn’t been in awhile so, I was due for a visit.  I told Britt she should come, and that we should bring Bug too.  Because, as stated before, we always wanted her to be with us when we got together. 

She was 13. Life was busy. I didn’t get to see her as often anymore, with her having her own schedule, and me, having my own as well. I was so happy when the 3 of us booked our trip to LA. It had been so long since all of us were together. 5 days of me, Ash, Britt, and Aria. Getting her to be excited to hang with us at 13, was harder than it was when she was little! But she didn’t have a choice and we had so much fun!! I am so incredibly grateful for those 5 days with Buggy. We laughed, we cried, we sang, we danced, we watched movies, went shopping on Melrose. We went to the ocean, we ate at In and Out, twice (her fav!). We saw dolphins, tried “Dragon Breath” ice cream, and listened to Billie Eilish non-stop. It was so great to just be together.    

My absolute favorite part of our trip was beach day. We packed a cooler, chairs, towels, snacks, all the beach essentials.

Destination……. Zuma Beach, Malibu. 

We met up with some friends and spent all afternoon there into the evening.  Aria was most excited for beach day. She was such a fish! Watching her swim all day and crash in the waves was priceless. The teenager in her disappeared and the little girl resurfaced. She didn’t come out of the ocean all day. Me, on the other hand, am a huge ass chicken. She asked me to go all the way in with her and I said,

“Absolutely not, I am not going in there!!”

 I WISH I DID! 

I wish I held her little hand and went for it. Us, running into the waves with no fear. She tried so hard to get me to go with her, more than anything I wish I did. It is one of my biggest regrets. But, it was such a beautiful day. I wish we had taken more pictures at the beach, but my memories are so clear.

We also went to The Grove. Aria only wanted to go there for Dylan’s Candy Store. We spent like an hour in that place. Of all things, this girl got, Unicorn poop. Which is basically, just glitter slime. After the mall we went out to eat.  She played with that damn poop the entire time. She was happy with her poop and camera, making her infamous videos.  She giggled and laughed played with that poop for hours.

 We went shopping on Melrose Avenue one afternoon.  We walked from shop to shop, we stopped into a tattoo shop to check prices on a tattoo. However, none of us ended up getting anything. Afterwards, we went and had drinks and food at this little hole in the wall bar on Melrose.  We sat towards the back of the bar at this little table.  I don’t remember our conversation, but as we were all talking, Bugs started making another infamous video. Her specialty was to make you look hideous as possible. The more hideous the better! Especially with filters or awful angles! As we talked,  she zoomed right into my face lol.  Its nothing overly comical but, its just Buggy, and her silly sense of humor. It makes me laugh and smile even though its all so terrible!!

Whenever we were in the car driving to wherever, Bugs was in charge of the music. This entire trip she played Billie Eilish non-stop!  We had to literally beg her to listen to something else. Bugs saw a huge poster of Billie when we were out walking one day and insisted on taking her picture in front of it. 2 days later, Billie posted a similar picture in front of what looked like, the same spot that Bug took her picture. She was so excited!!!

It was a beautiful trip!

Then 6 months later, I got the worst possible call one can ever imagine.  Everyone’s beautiful Buggy, who gave me and everyone around her so much joy and light, was gone.

Exactly one year after my trip to LA with Britt and Bugs, we went back with Gini, and brought our girl with us. We spent the whole trip honoring the Buggylady.  We went to the same places to eat as the year before.  I even got the same breakfast at one restaurant we went to because Aria loved it so much. She smashed two plates of Chicken and Waffles! We went back to The Grove and just walked around.  We went to Dylan’s Candy Store. We tried to find the Unicorn poop from the year before but couldn’t.  As Britt was walking around the candy store, a mother was calling her daughters name out loud. She ran to me and asked,

“Did you just hear that?”

” What?!” I asked.

“Did you hear what that woman was just yelling?”

Of course, the little girl’s name ended up being Aria.  We all cried.  We knew she was with us. 

The most special day was when we took Bugs back to Zuma Beach.  On our way out to Malibu, of course “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish came on the radio.  Again, we were reminded that she was with us.  We sat on the beach in the same spot as we sat the year before.  We each took a turn putting some of Aria’s ashes in the ocean. It was so special yet so surreal.

On our last day in LA, Britt and I decided we wanted to get an “Aria” tattoo.  I must of called around 3-4 tattoo shops that couldn’t get us in.  I finally called this one shop and they had openings.  The shop was on Melrose, but I didn’t think much of it.  When we walked in, I couldn’t believe it, it was the exact same place we walked into a year ago with Bugs.  Another way of her saying,

“Hi, I’m here guys!!”

We each got our Buggy tattoo and then ended up going back to the hole in the wall bar afterwards. The exact same place we went with Bugs the year before. It was a beautiful trip honoring our girl and everything we did the year before with her!! It was obvious she was with us every step of the way!!

I could go on and on about Aria! Especially all the joy and fun I had watching her grow up.  As so many already know, she was so special and unique. Incredibly smart, kind, sensitive, and a beautiful young lady, full of acceptance and love!!   She made me an Auntie, and its one of the best titles I will ever have.  I think about you every single day, Bugs. 

I miss you and love you so much sweet angel!! 

Love,

Alli

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Comments (1)

  • Charlotte Olson . July 22, 2021 . Reply

    Beautiful ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Thank you for sharing

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