Monday, December 9, 2013

Because of You.

This week I can literally feel the weight of my heart. The ache is so heavy that the strength to carry it through the day feels almost impossible. This week the world lost two amazing individuals, two people that not only changed the world, but changed my life. This post is for them. With all love, from me.

I will never forget the first time we met. From the very beginning, you made it seem like we had been life long friends. You made New York feel safe. You made New York feel like a home. You made New York friendly. You made New York calm and normal.  Not a day went by that I didn’t look forward to seeing you as I made my way through the revolving glass doors. You would meet me, extending your arms out, pulling me into a hug, kissing me on the cheek, whispering, “How was your day” into my ear.

Your hundred-watt smile lifted me up on my worst days, and was contagious to everyone around you. You knew every face, every name, every person. No matter how fast I was running, you never let me get by without shouting my name, without saying hello, without reaching out to grab my hand. On days when I felt invisible, you made me feel like the most beautiful. On days when everything felt hard, you made everything seem easy.

I will never forget hearing the news of the Boston bombing crackling over the radio, your compassion and calm drowning out the chaos to the events that were unfolding. You held my hand, squeezing it tight and told me everything was going to be okay, that we must live everyday to its fullest.

I will always remember those afternoons, gathered around, sharing snacks and food. You always had good food. Where did all that food come from? Remember that day that you told me all about quinoa? You were so proud of your healthy snacks.

I will miss hearing stories about your family, weekends you spent with your son, and updates on your favorite movies, music, and newest New York hang outs. But most of all, I will miss you. You were remarkable. You were the brightest light and while 66 West 12th Street will never be the same, your light will shine on–always.

This cup is for Will.

And Mandela–

You are the other eternal flame, the guiding light to every individual in this world who is striving for peace, freedom and equality. Your strength, courage and determination not only changed history, but changed the world.  We will carry you in our hearts and our minds–always–and uphold all that you gave us. We will remember what is important, that, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

It is our responsibility to carry on your legacy, to walk in your footsteps of the doers and the dreamers, to channel your determination and your strength, your wisdom and your words. Your legacy will live on in every living being as we continue to make this world a better place, for ourselves, and for generations to come. I am because you are. We are because he is. Ubuntu.

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