For Toyia

Time is such a funny thing.  We have all the time in the world and also no time at all.  So strange that you could be here one moment, and the next moment you were gone.  How does one prepare for something like this: both sudden and inevitable?

I don’t think that people were always kind to you.  I don’t think that you always saw all of who and what you were — smart, talented, capable, steady (like a rock.  Or an anchor).  I think sometimes you allowed yourself to fade into the background.  Ah, but when you shined.  Magnificence.  With the brilliance of 1,000 ancestors, you fashioned for yourself a beautiful life, with a career in which you excelled, 3 wonderful children, and a husband who seemed to love you as if you were the sun itself.

Every blessing you received, you earned.  You moved through the earth as though your very existence was an offering to God.  You deserve the infiniteness of the life-after on the strength of your laugh alone.  I pray that everyone that you encounter on this leg of your journey bestows upon you the same warmth, joy, care, and loving-kindness you gifted to all of us.

I loved you and always will.

With all my heart, your little cuz,