Mallory Smith is the best soul I’ve ever known. Her courage and grace in the face of such insurmountable odds will be a guiding light to all of us here today, in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and across the global CF community. I’ve never loved a friend like I love Mal and I will forever cherish the gift of having her as the brightest light in my life since she was born, 17 days after me, 25 years ago. When reflecting on the longest friendship I’ve ever had - if I am not mistaken, our fist play date took place at 2 months old - I’m in awe that in spite of the terrifying ordeal of having to confront her mortality, Mallory never let that interfere with her insatiable thirst to live her life to the fullest, to always put other’s needs ahead of hers and to give more than she ever took. As I think about the most joyful memories I shared with Mal growing up, a ton took place during the summer time. After sharing our pre-school years at Temple Isaiah, we went onto different schools - so, it was during summers that we got to spend extended periods of time together; and invariably that was the most fun, entertaining time of the year for me. At Camp Hess Kramer sleep away camp during our elementary and middle school years, you could find us Israeli dancing, mooning maria, or getting totally busted stalking the cute older boys in leadership. How we thought it would be acceptable to keep the camera flash on while taking stalker photos is beyond me. In high school during our many summer trips to Maui, all of the handsome older guys on the beach would flock to Mal, assuming she was in her twenties and I was her shy, less graceful 12 year old sister….mind you, even though I’m older! In typical Mallory fashion, she never left her wing girl behind - it was both of us or none of us.
Our summer fun would often carry over to that last Saturday before Thanksgiving. As it would be, today. For years on this day, before heading over to Mallory’s Garden, we had a tradition of having a girly spa day. Massages followed by a haircut at daniel gravel salon and getting our make up done. Pretty cheesy, I know. Full disclosure, we shared a love of many cheesy things— from the movie The Proposal, to the soap show “Nashville,” to the band Coldplay, whom we saw live together in 2009. I hope you’ll forgive me for bringing the cheesiness up even a level higher, but I’d like to read aloud (because I can’t sing) some of the lyrics to a Coldplay song called Green Eyes. I know Mal has blue eyes, but after this song came on from her hospital playlist on Monday night, I realized it perfectly encapsulates how I feel about her. Just as the words comforted Mal during some of her toughest times maybe they can help carry us through our pain and grief.
Honey you are a rock, Upon which I stand. And I came here to talk, I hope you understand. That green eyes, the spotlight, shines upon you. And how could anybody deny you. I came here with a load, And it feels so much lighter since I met you. And honey you should know, that I could never go on without you. Green eyes. Honey you are the sea, upon which I float. And I came here to talk, I think you should know. That green eyes, You’re the one that I wanted to find. And anyone, who tried to, deny you, must be out of their mind. Honey you are a rock, Upon which I stand.
Mal— thank you for being my rock, for teaching me how to weather storms and be the best person I can be. Like a rock, the joy that I got from being around you will last forever. I love you and miss you so very much. Rest in peace and paradise. --Marissa Schnitman