Zaria is my eight year old cousin. My first aunt (my mom's sister) is married to her uncle (her grandmother's brother).
Zaria was such a beautiful, old soul. From the time both of my babies were born, she would pick them up and carry them around. She wanted to take care of them, just like she did with her two younger brothers, and that's what's she told me once, "but I fed my brothers!" (sweet girl.) The last time we saw her alive, about two weeks before her death, she was outside playing with my daughter and niece.
She spent a great portion of her life in and out of the hospital, but you would have never known that. She was always smiling, even when she was sick. She was so smart and so ahead of her time.
A few weeks ago, Zaria got very sick. She ended up coding in the hospital and she never recovered. Her parents removed her from the machines and she breathed her last breath on Saturday morning.
I have shed a few tears... not only because a child of 8 has lost her battle, but most of all, a mother has lost her child.
Journey (Zaria's mom) has been admirably strong. I was not at the hospital but my aunt told me that every time the doctors came in and delivered bad news after worse news, she took a deep breath and said ok.... she never crumbled. She's been responding to people on FB and it just amazing to me-in her saddest moment, she is STILL making other people feel ok. I went to the visitation (because I knew I couldn't personally handle the funeral) and her mom was so strong for every one else. She was so beautiful.
I have been thinking Journey every day. When the dust settles and everyone leaves, it'll just be her, at home with her boys and their questions and her thoughts.
I never want to forget to check on her. I am praying that God reigns down special blessings upon her.