Mariah was a different kid.
She danced the Jingle Dance as part of her Chippewa heritage. That native dance costume was a reflection of Mariah...brilliantly coloured, flowing like an accomplice in the dance...and free to the wind and to the skies. Great meaning is placed on the sacred garment as explained by Evelyn Thom...a 76 year old jingle dress dancer:
"It is a gift to be able to dance. The jingle dress was a gift from the Creator. It is important to carry that healing vision to the people".
Complex. Aren't all teenagers? I don't think there is a parent out there who is raising, or has raised a teenager who wouldn't tell you that escorting a young girl from childhood into adulthood isn't a tireless job. But if you knew Mariah...you might say her mother was luckier than most. She effortlessly achieved good grades, brilliantly expressed herself through art, and volunteered her time with seniors in the evenings. She was a different kind of girl.
But she was the same too....she was in the throws of her first love. She loved Jersey Shore and found herself plunked on the couch when it was on...bumpit in place and a room full of GTL companions. She loved MAC makeup and Coach handbags...and she loved her family...immediate, and extended.
Mariah has inspired a movement. The circle that has started adds new members everyday...hand to hand, arm to arm, in the battle against teen suicide. No one is immune to this. Everyone will know someone either personally, or second hand, who has lost a sister or brother...daughter or son as they have died by suicide. Don't look away and ignore the obvious.
This circle aims to surround those battling depression...young and old, wildly successful, or just getting by...Mariah's Mission aims to shield and guard those most vulnerable...those who want to harm themselves and don't see a reason to live with the pain anymore.
So dear sweet girl...tonight we gather, and honour you for your 16th Birthday Bash. We will laugh, and I am sure shed more than a few tears...and we will carry on your desire for advocacy.
Dance on, beautiful jingle dancer....and we will carry out your mission of healing to the people. xo