Dear Rebecca….

Tomorrow we will gather and pour our grief-filled bodies into a glorious cathedral, and say goodbye. But this goodbye is different. This goodbye is to you. You, Rebecca, who lived life always as one big Hello. You, who were always willing to lay yourself down, like the most beautiful of welcome mats for the earth. You, who filled each moment with life, and color, and light.

I had been told by our supervisor that I would really like you, and had been anticipating our meeting for days before it happened. You were wearing rainbow barrettes in your dark hair, and an outfit that consisted of all their colors. Green sweater, yellow shirt, red pants, etc. I thought you would bring some much needed brightness to the foster children in our care. For once, I was right.

You were like a colored flame, bringing love to every corner of this place. It is safe to say that you changed hundreds of children’s lives. You loved with a courage and boldness that are usually reserved for the battlefield. You took advantage of every moment and filled them with stories, poetry, arts and crafts. No child could leave your presence doubting that they mattered and were loved.

You treated everyone in ways that spoke love to you. You were thoughtful and kind, compassionate, generous, and fearless in your love. You were a hunter of the best kind. You spent hours looking for the perfect gift for everyone you knew, and those they loved.

When I was carrying my third daughter, you told me that you were working on the perfect gift. A month later, you finished. Opening it, all I could do was laugh. You had filled the entire gift bag with mini Rebecca-style clothes. The brightest, most colorful and culturally diverse, baby clothes I had ever seen were inside. I, who almost always defer to black clothing for myself, suddenly had the most vibrantly dressed baby in town. Whenever she wore them, it brought a smile to the faces of everyone who saw her.

That was you. A bringer of light, a color-bearer, walking around like a glorious spring garden.

They say that lives are cast like stones in a lake, creating ripples that go on and on. Your life was more like a tsunami of kindness, the effects of which will still be felt one hundred years from now.

May we all have the courage to live our lives with the color and compassion that you did.

Until we meet again,

Your Friend, Jessica

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