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My mama, Rita Delorais Coleman, was fire, ice, light, and joy all in one! The matriarch of our family, she lived a life of caring deeply for others and anchoring her faith to be a ray of motivation and hope for everyone around her. She was such an inspiration and a fighter in every sense of the word, so you might imagine the difficulty we’ve had accepting that this intrusive virus stopped the heart of such a dynamic and resilient vessel. Me, my mom, my dad, oldest sister, 2 nephews and niece caught COVID-pneumonia Christmas Eve 2021 at the onset of the omicron variant. My nephew had returned home from college and visited a friend who knew he was positive but did not disclose this truth until later. So although we were careful to celebrate the holidays with our “Quarantine Crew”, COVID-19 found its way into our lives after 2 years of laboring to keep our elders safe. After an 11-day battle in the hospital, my mom passed on January 13, 2022. We miss her every single day, but as we lean into the legacy of her strong faith, unconditional love, and resilient spirit, we are postured to keep living and thriving. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

Keesha Coleman (Georgia)