This is Darah. She was a daughter, sister, teacher, lover, mentor, and a fighter. Darah was a student at the University of Akron majoring in Social Work and interested in being an advocate for children. She was a teacher at an inner city child care, where she planned and implemented fun and educational field trips, assisted and tutored with academic subjects, mentored children, exposed her students to new experiences, and enriched their lives by adding to the love in their lives.
Darah brought much joy, many laughs, quick wit, and practical advice. She was a loyal and honest friend and a reliable confidant.
Darah was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in April of 2011. She showed her bravery and instantly put on her armor, ready to face her disease with grace and positivity. She had so many people who loved her who were ready to step up the plate and support her journey.
Darah had a beloved godson named Karter, whom she spent countless hours playing with, laughing with, teaching, and loving. He is now three, and continues to speak of her, dream of her, and blow her kisses every day.
Darah adorned her furiously fighting body and framed her battle wounds with a tattoo that spoke to her fierce outlook and ability to look past the cancer and take away its power. Our family embraced her philosophy and agreed that we would all celebrate life and disempower the C word.
Darah is hard to sum up because she was a little bit of everything. She was kind but tough. Fun but serious. Smart but hard working. Messy but organized. Most of all she was honest and she was strong. She was never a victim. She never complained, she never questioned her condition, she accepted and moved on with her life. Easy, it was not, but she was determined to love her life.
The last birthday we got to celebrate with Darah was her 24th. We will continue to celebrate the rest of her birthdays in her honor and in an effort to raise money to send her students and other low income children to college at the University of Akron.
Darah is tragically gone from our physical lives and we ache without her here. She played a vital role in our family and our community and her death has shaken us to our core. Darah was a teacher though. She taught us many lessons on life and bravery and honesty and compassion. Through all of our grief and saddness, we must remember her very last lesson that she taught us- The Best is Yet to Come.