The fondest memory I have of you is the day we were at the mall and you called over a muscular, 6 foot, African-American man who wore white Gucci from head to toe and held his hand tightly, stared him in the eyes, and made him sob into your arms while we ate Wetzel Pretzels.
In that moment, I knew that if you could touch a life that intensely within 10 minutes,
You must have changed hundreds and thousands of lives in your lifetime.
And you did.
From this day on,
Your hearty chuckle will always echo through the rooms of which you stayed and will bounce in our eardrums for eternities to come.
The playful twinkle in your eye and the look of concern when you saw a stray hair on a face as you reach out with your strong hands to pick it right off will be a film that'll win awards for ages.
The soothing smell of soap on your skin will still be able to comfort anyone who's been having a bad day.
I will always remember how you literally taught me how to kill people with kindness through the squeeze of your arms, wrapping me in a cocoon of "everything's going to be OK."
I will always remember talking to you, fully knowing that you may not even be able to understand me.
Yet, you're still one of the best listeners I know.
I asked you questions, so many questions, without ever really getting an answer,
Yet, it was one of the first times I knew and felt like I was being heard.
I used to ask you why you loved gardening so much, and though you never answered, I think I now figured out why.
Your whole life, you took everything under your wing.
Planted them in your life, nourished them, and watch them grow with you.
You did not believe in a family tree, you believed in a family amazon,
With different people from different corners gathering together to make a community as tight as your hugs.
You have embedded roots in this Earth that don't just come from trees or roses
But from people.
People who, otherwise, would carry on in their lives not knowing the true meaning of kindness, generosity, and family.
You have given us the seeds of your passions and legacies which will blow through this Amazon forever.
Your memory and your lessons will sprout generations of young seeds with the same values of love and friendship.
I know my family spent years trying to heal you.
But instead, you have healed us.
You taught us that emotions should always be shared.
Tears should not tremble before they drop.
Hugs should not ever be hesitated to be given.
Smiles should always be shared,
And with that, I truly believe you have brought us closer together by planting seeds within us and allowing us to regrow our roots so that they intertwine and embrace each other.