Dear Marika,

I tried to write this earlier but you were sitting right across from me and I promised myself I wouldn't let you see me cry. Now, I'm watching you gracefully walk around and greet family and guests at this repass as if nothing ever happened. You just stopped to cover the rest of the cake, saving the piece with your mama's face in the middle, and even with all these people around - none of this feels real. 

Its because her spirit lives. Rameir sounds just like her with his quick-witted, snarky sense of humor. Nyaja walks with her same confidence and sass. And you, you possess her vitality, her soft-spoken zeal, and her smooth-jazz personality. Proudly, I listened as you delivered your poem. The only dry eye in the room was yours. Your ability to stand there without breaking down - Meekz honestly, that is a true testament to the woman that she raised you to be. My sister, my queen, you define strength. 

Just as a flower leans toward the sun for beauty and growth, you are her rose and you will forever bloom in her presence. The girls and I are blessed to be close enough to you to be seeds in her spiritual garden.

I love you. And I'm here for you. And forever inspired by you. 
I know she will rest peacefully.