The fights that we lost made us

I never loved anyone the way I loved Annalise. I loved her even when she didn’t choose me.

But those moments when she did choose me – I would feel seen.

I think we all seek that person in our lives – someone who shows us it’s possible to survive whatever good or bad is thrown at you. That’s one of the thousand things Annalise taught me; what feels like hell right now is a gift later. That’s not to say Annalise was easy to love. But then when you thought of that young girl from Memphis, you forgave her for everything. I think that’s why so many of us are here today – to remember her, yes – but also to forgive her.

For better or worse, we were all chosen by Annalise. And despite the demand she put on us, we know she taught us something. I think that’s what she valued most about her life. Not the trials she won, or glass ceilings she broke. But the fight she lost. She knew these were the things that made her, her. Determined, tough, stubborn. I know many people find it hard to be around a person like this. It’s easy to choose nice, even if that means settling. But the rest of us know this: when the sun shines on you, you’re a fool to turn away.

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