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How My Cousin’s Tragic Death Inspires Me to Live a Full Life.

When you lose someone you love.

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Mom, Daughter, Wife, Navy Sailor
Mom, Daughter, Wife, Navy Sailor

My cousin Andrea (Johnson) Daves inspires me every day.  I keep her close to me as I build my business and chase my dreams because she did not get the opportunity to construct hers.  Andrea died three years ago on February 25, 2017, when her body was found in her burning car.  She was 33- years old and a mother of two amazing little humans who were 2-years old and 3-months old at the time.  Our family and her friends were devastated.    

While her death was tragic, her life was epic … and that is what I take with me every day.  Andrea loved the game of basketball and her level of talent provided opportunities to play in College and as an enlisted Navy Sailor. 

The memory I cherish most is the sound of her laughter.  Her song still rings in my ears. That laughter inspires me to build something great for others to laugh about while they live their lives. 

Another reason Andrea inspires me is by the example and legacy she left.  She shared love and showed compassion everywhere she went.  A strong woman of faith, she carried that devotion with her whether she was sailing the oceans or dancing with family at our very large reunions.

I remember during my wedding reception, Andrea and I stood out on the balcony overlooking the Rochester, NY skyline.  She was laughing and having a great time.  Her smile was almost ear to ear.  What a loving memory that warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes even now.  I am grateful for the years we shared and the love we had for one another. 

When I think about these challenging times we are living through, I can’t help but think about Andrea and how she may have contributed to the conversations regarding Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, and political change.  She was a force of strength and I know she would have made her voice and opinions known.

For all these reasons and more, is why I write about Andrea now and continue to use my voice and platform for worthy causes.  This is how I choose to honor her legacy: by being an example for others to follow.

My cousin Andrea (Johnson) Daves inspires me every day.  I keep her close to me as I build my business and chase my dreams because she did not get the opportunity to construct hers.  Andrea died three years ago on February 25, 2017, when her body was found in her burning car.  She was 33- years old and a mother of two amazing little humans who were 2-years old and 3-months old at the time.  Our family and her friends were devastated.    

While her death was tragic, her life was epic … and that is what I take with me every day.  Andrea loved the game of basketball and her level of talent provided opportunities to play in College and as an enlisted Navy Sailor. 

The memory I cherish most is the sound of her laughter.  Her song still rings in my ears. That laughter inspires me to build something great for others to laugh about while they live their lives. 

Another reason Andrea inspires me is by the example and legacy she left.  She shared love and showed compassion everywhere she went.  A strong woman of faith, she carried that devotion with her whether she was sailing the oceans or dancing with family at our very large reunions.

I remember during my wedding reception, Andrea and I stood out on the balcony overlooking the Rochester, NY skyline.  She was laughing and having a great time.  Her smile was almost ear to ear.  What a loving memory that warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes even now.  I am grateful for the years we shared and the love we had for one another. 

When I think about these challenging times we are living through, I can’t help but think about Andrea and how she may have contributed to the conversations regarding Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, and political change.  She was a force of strength and I know she would have made her voice and opinions known.

For all these reasons and more, is why I write about Andrea now and continue to use my voice and platform for worthy causes.  This is how I choose to honor her legacy: by being an example for others to follow.

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