MEMORIES, STORIES, KIND WORDS, AND DREAMS ABOUT AUDREY
Please continue to share!
I knew Audrey through nursing school, and went to Uganda with her and she left such a light in my life in the small amount of time. I saw your post on Facebook and thought I’d share my memories.
Audrey and I went to Denver College of nursing together. We were set to graduate nursing school at the same time but we were in different cohorts so I never saw her or met her until our first Uganda meeting. At our first meeting Audrey stood out Immediately. She was so kind and engaging. She was just this light in the room that warmed everything. She had so much to offer our group and taught us so much. I was immediately drawn toward Audrey and we became friends quickly. We took this personality test before we left and Audrey and I came up with the same answers. We sat next to each other for our flight down to Uganda. Audrey wearing her compression socks and sandals. We were both yoga instructors and she told me all about her time in Bali. We talked for hours about our lives and families. She had such an amazing outlook on life. She truly lived everyday to the fullest And love with all of her heart. When in Uganda Audrey and I also roomed together. She slept on this tiny bunk that she had to army crawl into every night. We did baby wipe baths together. One time we took cold buckets and in our swimsuits we just dumped them on each other to get clean. There was this baby kitten there that Audrey would feed and hold. She just had the biggest heart. On our walk to the clinic she’s be smiling the whole way, waving to everyone who walked by, and talking to everyone. At the clinic she just connected so well with the patients. She made them smile and worked so hard to connect with them despite a language barrier. She had such a passion for OB and was in that clinic as much as she could be. She got to see a delivery one night and she was at the mothers side the whole time. She even gave her a foot massage after. Audrey was so intelligent and wise. She could reflect and help us all understand. She loved riding on the motorcycles and just looked so in her element riding on them through the jungle. Audrey was up for whatever activity the clinic needed. On our weekend vacation we went to this waterfall. Audrey and I just sat watching it for hours. She made you just want to sit in the moment, To drink life in. We bunked together that night and we ran out of water, so Audrey showed us her amazing Irish step dancing skills and tried to teach us. She showed us pictures of her parents diving with whales and of her twin. On our hike the next day Audrey jumped into this roaring river. Most of us didn’t want to get wet and hike but Audrey was always the one finding the adventures. She laughed with everyone. We called her a sunflower because she was just so joyful to all of us. She wanted to take pictures of everything she said she wanted to remember everything. Little did she know how much those pictures would mean to us. Audrey journaled every night. When we left Uganda we sat in the van and cried. There was this feeling that you had there that no one wanted to leave, Audrey made that feeling come home. We graduated nursing school together. When I look back at Uganda I see Audrey's smile, I see her holding patients hands, I see her hair blowing in the wind on the motorcycles, I see her braiding all of our hair as we sat and talk. She was strong, beautiful, passionate, so so smart, and she lived fiercely. She taught me so much. She left this light in my heart and I know so many people feel the same.
I’m so glad we were able to set up the foundation for Audrey with FIMRC and get you guys the photos. I know we all want to go back and open something in her name. If you or your parents or anyone need anything please let me know. You and Audrey are always in my heart.
- Wendy Dyer
For as long as I can remember both Audrey and Kelsey have been major role models for me. Audrey was that super-cool older cousin you aspired to be like and every moment spent with her was magical and memorable.
Last year when I opened up about entering treatment for my eating disorder, Audrey was the first person who reached out to me. It was the first time in quite possibly my entire life I felt truly seen and understood by someone. It was a very dark and isolating time in my life and having that type of connection to someone was catalytic to my healing process. She was someone I could count on and trust throughout my recovery and an ever-present reminder of the right I was doing and how much recovery was worth it.
Audrey had a wealth of knowledge and I’m beyond grateful for the wisdom that I was able to receive from her. She shared so many resources that helped me heal immensely. She introduced me to Ayurveda and yoga, which were pivotal to my healing and me trusting my body and mind again. To this day both are still a huge part of my life and I practice them daily.
Because of Ayurveda, I was able to heal my relationship with food and to start seeing it as medicine, as well as being able to see myself mind, body, and spirit. Ayurveda is what lead me to start school to study holistic medicine and nutrition and hopefully, soon I can follow Audrey’s footsteps to become an Ayurvedic counselor.
I practiced yoga long before my recovery process, but because of Audrey, I learned it is SO much more than just stretching. I gained a much deeper love and appreciation towards my body and began to practice yoga off the mat. Growing a deeper understanding of the ethics of yoga completely shifted my mentality and view of myself and the world. I recently got my first tattoo of ahimsa (nonviolence). It’s a dual reminder of not to harm others or myself as well as remind me of who shared that knowledge with me and helped aid in getting me out of that cycle of violence.
I’m so so grateful for the time I’ve had with Audrey and to have been able to be blessed by her wisdom, kindness, and selflessness. She is truly a healing spirit who I credit so much of my healing process to her presence in my life. Both Audrey and Kelsey have grown to be the older sister I always wanted and I have endless gratitude for the support and love I have received. Everyday I’m inspired by her and her tenacity of being able to live life to its fullest. I strive to extend the love and support she showed me to others.
- Kailee Smith
Ok so the most recent one that I have of Audrey is when I randomly come to visit you girls at Chico one random Tuesday night! We hung out for a little while and then we went to get ice cream. It was nice to just hang out with you guys and talk. It had been so long since I had seen you guys! The time before that we were kids!!! And i think Lauren and I came to stay all day at your parents house and we played and we walked around your neighborhood and your neighbor had a horse and I remember loving horses so we sat and watched the horse for a while 🤣. And of course our camping trips to Pinecrest!!! That was great childhood memories!!
- Jenna Doyle (Anderson)
I always thought Audrey was THE coolest girl. Way too cool to be my friend or even acknowledge me. One day after freshman year she invited me to go to waterworld and I couldn’t even believe she wanted to hang out with me. Not because she was a “mean popular” girl but because I just thought she was way out of my league. We went to water world and were silly and goofy and sunburned and it was a great day. She was always so kind with that amazing smile and although we were never all that close whenever there was any type of encounter she always treated me like I was a close friend.
At our 10 year high school reunion she greeted me with that classic wide eyed, happy smile, and gave me the sweetest hug. We chatted and caught up and she held my hand during the group photo. I remember talking about how sweet that was and how happy that made me weeks after the reunion, which of course made it all the more sad when the news came.
Thanks for being a friend to me Audrey when you already had so many. Your kindness, beauty and smile will literally never be forgotten. It has been a joy to hear your authenticity through so many shares and stories which always confirmed my own opinion of you. Thanks for giving so many friends of mine such great memories of you and I hope you get to see just how much you are loved.
- Marcela Trujillo
This is a great idea putting this site together. I’m so sorry that Audrey was lost too soon and you have to endure this grief. So many people knew Audrey and saw her beautiful soul, and I hope that helps to bring you peace. I hope this story makes you and others smile. I was just talking about this on Monday so I knew I needed to share.
I had PE with Audrey I think sophomore year and we were doing tennis at that time. There was a small group of us girls in the class who would take turns going up this hill right next to the tennis courts and hit tennis balls down to the girls below. On this particular day I was on the hill hitting balls down below and whoever was down below would put the racket all the way ove their head and swing as hard as they could. It was actually so much fun. A tennis ball came to Audrey and she had both hands on the racket handle, arms all the way back over her head, swung and the ball just perfectly sailed right through her arms and hit her right in the forehead. I never laughed so hard in my life, it was so funny. I think about that story often and I can visualize the whole thing to this day
- Kelly Hedgecock
My favorite memories with Audrey were in Hawaii every year at the Colliers company trips. I met Audrey when I was probably 7 and she was 10. I thought she was SO freaking cool. She didn’t care that me and my 3 siblings were younger than her, she treated us like we were best buds. I remember there was this one bar that was a water bar in the pool. You could swim up to it and order drinks. You had to be 21 to sit at it or even be near it. But we thought we were so sneaky so we would swim in between the peoples legs and weave in and out between bar stools. And then we would sit at the bar and pretend we were super cool and mature and order Shirley temples. I thought we were such badasses for doing that.
- Eliza Pedder
I met Audrey for the first time in the summer of 2009 during the evening of our graduation from Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, CA. I remember her beautiful smile most of all, and alas, I wish I had met her sooner. My heartfelt prayers go out to her loved ones who remain.
- Aakash Ramsey
I remember we painted waves and surfers together, beautiful girl I was blessed to know in 2001-2003.
- Chris Fabri
I worked with Audrey at John Muir, she was my partner in crime! I remember we had a family member of a patient that had an Indian restaurant and they would bring us food, I looked at one of the foods that was brought in and it looked literally like a turd. She was eating it and she told me to taste it, I really didn’t want to cuz it looked like a real turd, she was eating it like it was soooo good. As I was taking a bite she said oh it’s good it’s goat turd! I gagged And she laughed so hard she was crying of laughter!! I will always remember that laughter of hers! Her warm morning hugs! Her beautiful eyelashes! Those eyes as well!! Audrey will forever be missed!
- Lorie Rivera
I became friends with Audrey our freshman year of high school. My friendship with Audrey was one of the most genuine friendships I have ever had, and I am forever grateful for the time I spent with her. It is hard for me to pinpoint my most memorable memory with Audrey. Instead, when I hear certain songs, see pictures, and visit places, it makes me think of her. For example, when I hear Bob Marley, it brings me back to our Sophomore year of high school, running around in the warm summer weather with Kelsey, and all her neighbors. Or I hear a song by Rebelution, makes me think when Audrey was able to get us back stage on my birthday at their concert in Chico. Country Artists like Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, and Rascal Flatts, brings me back to all the concerts we saw together. When I hear “Last Friday Night” by Katy Perry, makes me think of getting ready in her dorm with Christine, excited for what the night could bring us! When I visit places like Las Lomas, it brings me back to sharing multiple classes together like Yearbook, and Leadership. Audrey and I had the pleasure of having to take out the recycling cans on the second floor (which by the way, we struggled with how heavy these bins were, hauling them up and down the stair case), luckily, we were paired with the strongest boy in the class. As we struggled, I remember laughing and complaining the whole time, and getting in trouble for taking the whole period to complete this task. Little did the teacher know, we took our sweet time, and that is when Audrey taught me a few Irish dance steps (which I still remember this day how to do). By our senior year, we had a lunch table right in rally court, and enjoyed telling stories about the weekend, boys, and complaining about how we can’t wait till college. 2009, we moved out of Walnut Creek and in our dorms at Chico State. I pretty much was Audrey and Christine’s 3rd roommate, as I spent most of my weekends sleeping over there. I remember after my mom moved me into my dorm, as she was on her way out, I asked her to drop me off at Audrey’s dorm. I watched my mom drive away and started to cry, but Audrey was right there to hold me tight and care for me. I was scared to be away from home, but I had the security of Audrey, and the love and comfort she brought me, she was my home. I didn’t know this at the time, but my Freshman year was the best year and I have Audrey to thank for. She pushed me to join a sorority, try new things, and make me never second guess something, just go for it. There are so many stories I have with Audrey at Chico State, late nights of parties, and STUDYING (I swear we did put in our work for school too), but for me some of those stories are worth keeping a secret. A special bond we will continue having, and when I think of them, I can’t help but laugh and smile. I feel like I could go on and on about the times I had with Audrey, the unlimited things we did together. Whether we were going to Berkeley to get our hair wrapped by Ziggy, yearbook camp, road trips, living at the EK house, going to Santa Cruz, hanging out at the Ellis house swimming, playing with Tiki, sleepovers, there is too much. Audrey will always have a special place in my heart, and I am so happy we were friends.
- Molly Maher
There are countless memories that make me smile from Audrey. One that comes to mind in particular, was when we went to Janine's yoga class at WC sports and fitness. I can't remember who farted but we could not stop giggling. Every time I looked at Audrey I would try to stifle my laughter with little success. When we were done with class, we just laughed and laughed. Audrey to this day is the most magnetic person I have ever met. Her eyes twinkled when you spoke to her. She was a safe place for anyone who needed love and understanding.
I just smiled thinking about how Kelsey, Audrey, Cameron and I would race home after middle school and play Mario Party on our Gamecube up in our apartment. We would play for as long as we were allowed and we would be so into it. Makes me laugh.
- Mandi Heppler
I don't know Audrey. I hike at Shell Ridge a lot, I live in the neighborhood and for the past 9 years, it has been my little slice of heaven. Yesterday, me and my daughter came upon Audrey's bench and make shift memorial and had a seat on it. We have a habit of saying "Thank you" to all the little benches out there (even if it's Contra Costa Waste Management!) when we have a seat on them. It caught my curiosity on who Audrey was, as I knew this bench was fairly new. When I got home, I Googled her name and found this site. The beauty of her life speaks through her pictures, journal entries and stories. I am re-inspired by her. Family, friends, service, adventure, faith, connection, courage, presence, joy and love.... a life well lived. My daughter is 13 and went to Indian Valley, WCI and is poised for Los Lomas, as a parent I hope she can live with the same zest Audrey did, I'll be doing my best to be zesty, also! I felt compelled to write something, I don't know Audrey, yet I feel her impact and energy. My 16 year old brother passed away in a car accident last year, even in our mourning we have found magic and beauty....I hope the same for you and everyone who loved Audrey. Thank you for the bench, I hope to enjoy many more vistas, conversations with loved ones and moments of contemplation on it....and will make sure to take a moment for Audrey:)
- George Sellner
I read the NPR article, and found Audrey's playlist on Spotify. I'm so sorry for your loss, and I pray you and your family can continue to remember the beauty and search for the lessons that will undoubtedly come from such awful pain. I'm a complete stranger, but listening to Audrey's music really tells me a lot about who she was (I also dig Vance Joy), not to mention these beautiful journal posts on the website. Sending all the love and prayers I can your way.
- John Rickley-Dudley
Hi there, I didn’t know your sister, but I just donated a small amount to your foundation in the wake of her tragic loss. I just wanted to say I cried reading the story and I really I’m so sorry that you lost your sister and twin. I know it will take time to heal from the enormity of this. Thank you to your family for wanting to support future healthcare workers in her name. It’s a critical cause, and from what I read, your sister would be proud. As a stranger, I just wanted to say I hope Strank’s, and resilience, and comfort can be yours at this time.
I did not know her, but she opened my heart
What a beautiful tribute to your sister and daughter. My heart opened up upon reading her story this morning in OPB's First Look . Obviously, Audrey learned all the lessons she came on earth to learn and shared them with everyone privileged to know her. My heartfelt condolences to your family. "In fact, there is neither birth nor death. One remains only as what one really is. This is the only Truth." -Ramana Maharshi
Your family does not know me but I am writing to say that I believe a person one has never met can somehow evoke a feeling of joy & the presence of a smile. When I was a member of the Forma gym, my good friends, Edye Shapiro & Marjaneh Kalhori continually suggested I take a yoga class from your mother Janine. I was hesitant & never did because my fear was I'd be afraid of what quiet & centered would feel like as I'm very hyper, controlling & my middle name should be OCD...but what I remember most from these friends were them telling me how much Janine spoke so fondly of you & Audrey, how proud she was of you & her belief that life was going to have a hard time keeping up with you both. Perhaps one day I will sign up for a class because I know I should but in the meantime, I just wanted to extend my sympathy to you and your family. I cannot imagine the heartache you are feeling. Blessings, love, joy, smiles & hugs.
She's liberated from the bounds of mind and body now, which is the whole purpose of yoga. And since she understood the wisdom of the Ayurvedic knowledge, she knew she'll be reincarnated I'm sure. Perhaps not as your sister next time around, but in the world nevertheless. Wonderful idea to have a website, for when she does come back. All the best for your continued joy and appreciation of life and death equally.
Read your story and found this…so amazing. Your sister seemed like a dream. I'm sorry for your loss, and thankful for your dedication to her life on these pages.