I accidently messed up her 7th birthday party when her father and I were driving back to Houston and ended up getting rear ended.
The road to us being friends was not an easy one. I was the new person in her father's life and rules were changing. But over time we bridged that gap.
I remember the nights of painting her nails, teaching her about makeup, talking about books. I remember her sitting beside me to play Star Wars The Old Republic, I moved the character but she made all the speech choices. She got frustrated with not being great at moving so this was how we managed. I just wanted to see the story line and she loved making the choices.
I remember her being so concerned that she drop the petels just so when she was flower girl when I wed her father.
I remember taking her to plays and concerts at Miller Outdoor Theater. She thought it was silly, until the band would start. She loved the cover band that performed Pink Floyd and asked to hear more like that. She loved The Beatles alongside Tiao Cruz. She would play I Love Rock and Roll on Guitar Hero over and over and when Dynamite came on in the car it was an instant dance party.
She begged me over and over at our first anime convention to go play the sword fighting game. I refused on the grounds that I was the only parent type figure there and if she accidently got hurt I'd absolutely never hear the end of it. Thankfully her father was finally able to join us. She was dressed as a fairy so I sent her out there minus the wings, shoes, and tiara. She was an instant favorite as the crowd cheered for her to destroy her father. A year later a boy came out of the comic store and was simply beside himself because he recognized her from that night. He couldn't stop talking about how awesome she was in the ring. Naturally we took her to the park so she could fight more.
She had no fear.
When I started working conventions and was in charge of the volunteers she was one of the first to sign up. Naturally I gave her things to do that others thought she couldn't really do. It quickly became clear that if she had something to tell you it was from me because she could run through the hotel far faster than I could. Also, she had confidence to spare. There was an incident where we had to evacuate the vendor room. She was stationed at the door to make sure only vendors were allowed back in once we were given the all clear. A large biker looking type tried to enter. She told him he couldn't. He started to walk past her and she grabbed his arm. "HEY!! I SAID you couldn't enter yet!" She had no clue there was a security guard that had just walked up behind her but she was certainly ready to try and stop him.
She was creative and curious. We loved going to the museums. She read books by the ton and wrote incredible stories. She wanted to learn how to knit because I did it. She was also a fantastic knit model. She joined the writing contest that I'd been participating in for several years and I was so proud that everything was simply her. I did no editing, she stood on her own, and made a good showing. All of her work is still public, lee_hawk. She made jewelry and drew. She had so many interests and so many choices.
This was the last picture I took of her as a knit model.
She was sad but accepting when I divorced her father and later moved out. She was very happy that I found Jon. I was thrilled that she came to my wedding last July.
There was so much I didn't know, so much I missed because we didn't talk as much. This beautiful, creative, brilliant girl is gone, her life ended by her own hand. I am so lost. There were plans, once we had our own place, for her to spend a night or two. That never happened. So much lost because she couldn't see a way past her own pain. I do not blame her. I can only mourn the loss of opportunities, the moments we can't have.
I know that right now though she is no longer in pain. I'm sure she's surrounded by all the kittens and puppies and rabbits. Every animal was her favorite and I'm certain they are all there with her, comforting her and welcoming her.
I will miss her until I see her again.
In loving memory of Talesia Lee Vaughan Byrd.
Born 3-27-2001, Died 2-1-2017.
Always loved. Never to be forgotten.