My sister, Sarah, was shot on September 23, 2012, by her husband of one year. She died on September 27, 2012. Sarah was fiercely protective, loyal, compassionate, admired and loved by many. She was living her authentic life and she encouraged others to do the same simply by loving them for who they are. She gave the most complete hugs to all, laughed easily and loudly, and made the world more beautiful with her presence. She loved animals, she enjoyed reading and she was a talented artist who painted many treasures, among them over 40 portraits of friends and family. She was affectionately given the nickname “Sassy” by her twin brother, Ben, when they were toddlers, and the name stuck into her adulthood.
Friends and family continue to have a gaping hole in their hearts, but we teach our children and those around us to know Sarah through the love she shared and through the everyday reminders of her life on Earth. My sister was about to graduate from Leon’s Beauty School when she was taken from this world. So, my toddler son and our whole family find joy in going to the salon for haircuts. It is a time filled with laughter, attention to self, and the beauty and love my sister saw and brought out in others inside and out. We stroll around the local botanical gardens and enjoy the magic of the butterfly rainforest to feel closer to Sarah. We embrace laughter, hugs, art, costumes, kindness, authenticity, animals, sunshine and the beauty within each of us. My parents go on adventures in the “Sassyfras” Airstream. We Walk-A-Mile in Her Shoes. We Wear Orange to end gun violence. We attend the “Black and Bling” Halloween party each year. We Live, Laugh and Love. Sarah’s legacy and love live on … in these ways and much more.