she played and started every game. The team was able to advance to nationals two out of the three years. Many memories were made with her teammates. One memory was at a home game, the gym was completely packed full of fans that supported Mesa university and the rival team, the Cardinals. Each year the two teams go to 5 five games, that are too close to call. The intensity in each one of the girls faces radiate and rub off onto the crowd. Mesa won the first two matches with little effort, then for the first time in the entire game the other girls started to hit the ball with power.
The ball was bouncing off the blocks, out of bounds, serves were being served into the net. The team was falling apart. After the last time out was called and the score was tied up at 25-25, Bailey was up to serve. She remembers taking a deep breath and serving an ace making the score 26-25. In volleyball the rules say that to win the score has to be at least 2 points away. She goes back to serve once again, the pressure is on her just to get the ball over the net. Bailey is calm, cool, and collected as she serves the ball once more. Before she can realize what happened the team is screaming and holding one another.
Bailey served once again an ace, winning the big game of the season for the team. Bailey would text her mom and dad how things were going with college life. She still did not have much contact with them throughout the rest of her college years. During this time Bailey had little interest in finding a boyfriend or soul mate. One day going into her senior year of college she went to Oak Creek Canyon, as she had many times for her own amusement. Oak Creek Canyon was only about an hour from Mesa, which was convenient for Bailey to just get away from the small town. Each time Bailey ould go there, she would hike to the same, wooden bridge and sit with her legs hanging over the ledge.
The view in the canyon was an array of colors ranging from bright orange to the brightest emerald greens. The terrain was rough, with mountains and large cacti. This canyon was a very popular attraction and many people would hike in the area. One day Bailey was sitting there admiring the view and a man about her own age asking to sit next to her. The first thing she noticed about him was his bright smile that was welcoming, then his bright blue eyes that someone could compare to the clearest of waters. He introduced himself as Levi James.
They sat on the bridge for hours talking. Bailey at first thought it was weird that he would approach her, but Levi told her that he had a class with her and knew exactly who she was. She told him that she did not know who he was, but as they were walking back to the area where you would park your car, Levi asked if she would want to go to the town’s little restaurant. Of course Bailey agreed, she was in awe of how handsome he was, how interested he seemed to be in her. She gave him her number and they went on there own way. After that, Levi and Bailey would meet up and go out at least three times a week.
They would go on dates and get to know every little thing about each other. During their last year of college, they moved into Bailey’s apartment. Levi brought his golden retriever and all of his other belongings. Since they both were going to school for mortuary sciences they looked intensely for a funeral home they could run together. There was only one in the town of Mesa, and the owners didn’t have family that wanted to run it in the future. After much talk with the previous owners and with each other, they decided that they would take over the local funeral home. The previous owners were the Millers, and they were in there late 60’s.
They shared with us that they wanted to retire and sell the funeral home. Bailey and Levi put their money together to buy the large white funeral home. There was a living space in the upstairs of the home, with two parlors in the main part, and then downstair was where the crematory and prepping station was. It was everything that the two would want in their business. After everything was moved in and the home was set to fit all of their wants and needs, the talk of marriage was being talked about. The amount of money they needed to be able to put on the wedding of Bailey’s dream was not much at all.
Out of the blue one day Levi got down on one knee and asked Bailey if she would spend the rest of her life with him. Bailey in tears, said yes in heartbeat. She called her parents to let them know that she was engaged and that they needed to save some money so they could fly out to Arizona in six months. Since the weather is always warm in Arizona Bailey and Levi decided that the best time of the year would be in October, due to the slightly cooler weather. The long months of planning was worth the beautiful and in their eyes perfect wedding.
It took place at the canyon where they met. There was a waterfall not far into the park, they they had it in front of. It was a perfect storybook wedding for the couple. All of their closest friends and family gathered to watch Bailey walk down in the aisle in her form fitting, with just enough bling to show Bailey’s spunky personality, but also elegant enough to show that she was sophisticated. Everything fell into place the moment Bailey and Levi’s lips came together. As Levi leaned down during the kiss he whispered the words “I’ll never leave you Bailey Marie James. “.
They were married at the age of 25 and continued to live very happily for the next five years. At the age of 30 Bailey became pregnant. As that went on they needed to clean out a room in their home in order to have room for the child. During the time they argued and fought more than they ever had in the past. It was very stressful on Bailey and she miscarried the baby. It was depressing for the both of them. When she went the hospital to find out the devastating news, Levi held her tighter than he ever had before. He apologized for treating her badly and made the promise to never let it happen again.
After, she healed and was able to become pregnant she did. At the age of 31 Bailey Marie James gave birth to a baby boy. Levi wanted to name him after his father. Bailey agreed and they named their child Brantley Lee James. They took turns picking up bodies during the nights they had calls for a body. As Brantley grew up he would sit and watch both of his parents work on the bodies, the embalming process includes sucking all the blood out of a person and putting chemicals in the blood that would help preserve the bodies, so during the funerals the families would not have to look at a decaying human body.
At the age of four Brantley wanted to help his parents, and to his surprise Bailey was pregnant again. Bailey promised him that he would be able to help the family in another way. Bailey and Levi rarely ever fought, the business always had at least one body in the morgue, and with Brantley and with a baby girl on the way, the family could not be any more stable. Bailey worked hard in her life and did everything she enjoyed as an adult. She currently lives in Mesa, Arizona with her loving husband Levi James, and her two children Brantley and Allison.
The age of 40 could not be treating her any better. The warm weather of Arizona and breathtaking landscape is everything she dreamed of. Her parents come out during the holidays and for the children’s birthdays. Bailey and Levi went to Indiana a few select times to meet and visit Bailey’s family. Each time her family repeatedly says they miss her and congratulate her on her success in life. Bailey’s family could not be happier for her.