Joy | Grief | Action | Change

Today, is February 5th. February 5th is the last day I talked to you, my sweet Aria Joy. It was the last time I heard you say, “I love you.”
My last text from you, “Goodnight mom, I love you” at 10:50pm that evening.
Somewhere between 12:15am, the last time Nonnie checked on you, and 8:16am when I got the worst phone call of my life, you took your last breath.

I was there when you took your first breath.

I wish you weren’t alone when you took your last. I want to hold you. Rub your head, assure you that everything would be ok as your spirit left your body and went to heaven. Even though, for me and all the people left behind, it’s not ok. I wish so many things. Tomorrow marks 1 year without you. It is so hard to comprehend, let alone, articulate. My heart is broken.

All I can think about is that there are so many things I wish you could have seen and shared with me over the last year. Although, I feel like you played a role in a lot of them.

  1. The awareness of the suicide epidemic in children has increased drastically. There are so many people working towards change buddy. Including many in your honor.
  2. You helped remind Laura and Dr. Lisa why they Shout Out Loud. You inspired them while they pulled the event together, #AAA. The success of this movement and event will continue to grow.
  3. I met 3 of the most amazing people on the planet. Those 3 brought so much hope and joy back into my life. They gave me a reason to smile and look forward to the future. You revealed them to me at the most perfect time! I wish you got to meet them! You will someday.
  4. Billie Eilish, your favorite, posted the video of you singing Hostage on her Instagram. So cool, I was so happy for you!
  5. Billie won 5 Grammy’s this year. She blew up. You have loved her for years. Your musical ear was impeccable. People are finally catching up, even Nick!!! You are cooler than most!
  6. I threw up and it really wasn’t that bad. Just like you told me. I don’t like it, but, it’s not nearly as awful and scary as I thought.
  7. Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss America are all Black Women! I wish you could have seen that the world DOES see that Black is beautiful! Your Instagram might have said differently, but, this beauty is on a deeper level. You embodied the same type of beauty, grace, elegance, and caring heart that these women portrayed. I wish you could have believed how beautiful you actually are!
  8. TikTok has exploded. Everyone and their mama(Literally) are doing it now. TikTok switched from Musical.ly in 2017. But you’ve been creating videos on that app for years. See, you were so ahead of your time. Always cooler than most!

Most of all, I wish I could just talk to you. Make dinner and hang out. Watch movies with you. Watch you grow into a young woman. Watch you enhance your craft in music and whatever other interests that you had. Watch you start high school and behind the wheel. I miss you most on normal days/nights. Not big holidays. But, just normal nights when we would be home alone together.

You passed on a Wednesday, so every Tuesday, I play this song. It’s exactly what I wish I could have done and said to you the night before she passed. Since today is literally a year to the day before you passed, here it is……

I love you more than anything, Aria Joy!

P.S. The cover photo is a picture of a locket Aria made for me. It’s a picture of her and I as babies! 💜👼🏽🙏🏽🦋


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