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Meryl Shader

Since we have been instructed to keep this light, I have a couple silly memories to share. When Mallory came into this world, she followed Micah, who was such an incredibly smart and good-looking boy, AND the first grandchild. We bragged about him so much Diane said, "if we keep this up, we're not going to have any friends!” I knew Mallory had a tough act to follow, and I wanted to help Mallory have good self-esteem. So I trained Micah to say, "Hello, Gorgeous!" whenever he saw her. Now, around this time, Diane was putting Mallory's hair into a ponytail on top of her head. Not sure why that seemed like a good idea.. Grandma Flo called it her palm tree. So can you picture it? Mallory with her palm tree head and Micah saying, “Hello, Gorgeous” in his little kid voice?! But I will never forget the moment Micah walked into Mallory’s hospital room this past week. Despite the fog of heavy medication, Mallory responded to Micah in a way unlike anyone else.


So, Paul and I moved to Sacramento, and I was concerned that Diane's kids would not know me enough to develop a relationship with me. I remember coming to visit when I was pregnant, and I was at that stage where I was nauseated unless I was actively eating. I went straight from the airport to Mallory's gymnastics class, but dashed out to get some tuna fish and a carton of milk. And when I walked into the studio, I was THRILLED that Mallory made a bee-line straight to me! I was so excited she knew me... until she grabbed the tunafish and milk out of my hands -- she was

making a beeline for the food, not me! Remember when she ate everything in sight?


Later, when the kids were in high school, we were in Hawaii together along with some friends. And we all know that although Mallory was a very deep thinker, she could also be kind of ditzy. One night after dinner, Mallory said, "Hey, we should all go star gazing!" Marissa Schnitman looked at her, looked up at the dark sky and said, and said, "Mallory! There are the stars! Gaze!"


Some say that when young people leave us too soon, they become one of the stars in the sky. But we know that Mallory is now part of the ocean.


I found this quote by John F Kennedy: “It is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it -- and I would add, “or to surf" - we are going back from whence we came.” Salty Mallory, we’ll see you when the surf’s up.




About

The diaries of Mallory Smith, a remarkable young woman who was determined to live a meaningful and happy life despite her struggle with cystic fibrosis and a rare superbug—from age fifteen to her death at the age of twenty-five.

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