A month ago today (June 20th), my daughter was taken from her life. The outpouring of support from friends, family, and people who had never met Evelyn has been tremendous. So much so that we are afraid that we will forget someone and not pay them the respect of a proper thank you. So, please, from the bottom of our hearts, if you don’t hear from us personally, please know that your gift, words, thoughts, or your presence was indeed felt, and was greatly appreciated.
What follows is the eulogy that I delivered at Evelyn’s service on Saturday, July 13, 2013.
By human standards, Evelyn only lived one-quarter of her expected life, but she lived that life to the fullest. She feared nothing, not even me. When she was younger and my constitution was a little stronger, we used to ride roller coasters together. We always sat in the first car. I was her defender.
Her mother was her shopping partner. She loved and adored her mother and embraced her mother’s Mexican heritage. Once for a school project she portrayed Mexican artist Frida Kaloe. The only thing she didn’t embrace were quesadillas, she hated quesadillas.
She also loved and adored her baby brother. They spend many hours together talking and hanging out, going to movies and when they were younger, reading comic books. Evelyn was a closet Nerd. She worried about her brother a lot, but now she is always with him, protecting him and guiding him.
Her boyfriend Jeremiah was a blessing for her. We are happy that he made her happy and we are proud to consider him as part of our own family.
For someone so young, she was as courageous as a teenager could be. She modeled in fashion shows as small as a few dozen people, to shows that filled huge auditoriums. She posed for many photographers, all of which have expressed how easy she was to work with. She was a natural She was not afraid, because when she was on, she was on.
Evelyn achieved something that many of us dream of, but never truly capture. Evelyn achieved immortality. She will be forever young with no fear of growing older. Her youth was captured in each of her photographs, each of her songs, each of her drawings, and in each of her actions. She loved to play. She loved to make others laugh. She had the gift of a great sense of humor.
It was because of Evelyn that I undertook photography. I wanted to ensure that she would be with reputable people and that she would be in a safe environment. We inspired each other. We did many projects together. She was meant to be in front of a camera. Her poise and grace never ceased to amaze those that met Evelyn.
Evelyn was dedicated to helping others. Five days before she was taken from us, she had convinced a couple who were addicted to Meth that they should stop. They said as much, when they wrote their story on one of Evelyn’s memorial posters. Evelyn made a difference. She inspired people to be better. Whether you knew her or not, she has touched each of our lives forever. As she was fond of saying, “Forever is a long time”.
In closing, I would like to quote from a paper she wrote for school. It was a paper about what she wanted for her future.
“If I could have a round trip ride in a time machine, as well as the ability to travel an unlimited distance, or experience the past of the future, I would travel into the future. I would travel five to ten years into the future and see how my life had progressed. I would also use the knowledge from the future and apply it to my present life.”
The future I would travel to, would be a future where all my dreams became true, the future that I would visit would be a warm home, with only the people I love surrounding me. Every day of that future would be my absolute happiness, many lives would have been changed, and all my wildest dreams would have come true.
The future I would travel to would be the most amazing trip of a lifetime.”