She was tenacious. From the beginning, I liked that about her. When I thought for sure she wasn’t understanding what it was I was saying, she would persist until she figured it out. She moved with purpose and it seemed like she was constantly on the lookout for her next great adventure. She had fun and she explored. She knew I admired her spirit. I tried to tell her how I felt about her. How she inspired as well as frustrated. She didn’t need much of this, but I encouraged her to pursue her dreams. When she would talk about the right time, I would tell her there will never be a right time. You have to make now the time. To her credit, she did make now happen a lot.

She set goals and worked hard to achieve them. Sometimes she believed she was ready when I didn’t think she was. Yet, she made things happen. Could be those things would have happened without her. Could be those things wouldn’t have happened at all. What made them hers was her. She filled little space, but made her presence felt. I think she constantly struggled with reconciling her diminutive size with recognition and opportunity. She knew that if she let them, people would overlook her contribution without a second glance and she was invested in ensuring that didn’t happen.

She was stubborn. It annoyed me more than once, this part of her character. She could be like a tiny mule standing it’s ground. I recognize myself in her; the mule, that is.

She would say the word “help” with an emphasis on the p and sort of pop the sound as she said it. I don’t know if she ever noticed that about herself. Or if she realized she would regularly clear her throat with a quiet little mewling sound as though a small kitten had just requested attention. She would always sit so very straight in her chair and she loved it when her hair hung long down her back. Although she regularly complained about it, she loved her hair. It was lovely. She loved to hum along to her favorite songs. When she was driving, she would sing. She wanted to see Sheryl Crow in concert.

She grieved for lost loved ones. Friends she had known who died in various ways, she mourned them. She could be extremely compassionate.

She hurt a lot. She was one of the sickest people I have known. Seems as though she was sick every 6 weeks or so. She would motor through, but sometimes she’d be down and out for a week or more. She didn’t let illness slow her down. I remember one night when she had been violently ill, she was determined to go on a date with someone who was interesting to her. She went and shortly after dinner, she heaved the whole meal back up again. At the time I was amazed and thought it wasn’t wise to do have gone out, but now I’m glad she went. If she had known it was so close, the end, I guarantee she would have made every single leap she considered. Yet, wouldn’t any of us?

I can brush my teeth and kiss my family goodnight, but she will never do that again.

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