By Dana Scott, Rachel's Sister
People often ask me what Rachel was really like. As her big sister, let me fill you.
Rachel was born in Denver, Colorado, on a beautiful, hot August day. Being the middle of five kids was not always easy, but she handled it pretty well. Form a young age Rachel loved being around people and was energized by it. She could light up a room with her presence. Her love for people expressed itself in an outgoing personality; but also in a deep, heartfelt compassion for people in pain. She always reached out to those with social, mental or physical needs. Rachel learned the power of simple compliments and acts of kindness at an early age.
Even though her legacy has touched millions of people's lives, she was a normal teenager who loved life but experienced the same struggles all teenagers face. She would be the first to tell you she wasn’t perfect. Like everyone else she made many mistakes, but most of the time found a way to see through her pain and frustration to a bigger purpose. In fact we found this quote in one of the six diaries she left our family, "I had my ups and downs. I fell a few times, but I did not give up. Don’t give up."
Rachel loved music. You would always hear it playing in her room and sometimes you would hear her singing along. She was not a great singer and the family often teased her about it. What she lacked in singing talent she made up for with a sense of humor and she handled the teasing well. Rachel liked to play the piano and often composed her own melodies.
Rachel had a unique sense of style and no matter what she wore it always seemed to work. Rachel was, however, self-conscious about her profile. When she was five years old she tripped on the sidewalk and broke her nose; which left a permanent small bump. She was always worried that people were staring at that bump on her nose when they talked to her.
Rachel had a passion for photography. She loved being both in front of, and behind, the camera. She also loved her acting class and focused her time on the arts and journaling. She had a big heart and was involved with many volunteer opportunities. Although she kept her schedule full and always found time to immerse herself in as many things as possible, she somehow could never find time to do her chores.
Rachel’s middle name "Joy" is truly the best way to describe her personality and the affect she had on the people in her life. She would be shocked to know that you are reading about her right now; and I'm sure her message to you would be to have the courage to do what you know is right, even if it isn't popular. She'd encourage you to intentionally reach out to those in need and would remind you, as she wrote in her final essay, "Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer...I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go."
Yellow and Lavender
"Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve
Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore
Cheese pizza, hot wings, burgers, sweets and cereal