I saw a post recently titled “My Daily”. It was a picture like this, items of sentiment and necessity. I carry all or most of these every day, some of them purely for the memories they each bring along.
I want to talk about a person and one item in particular: Skyla & the scarf.
She was incredible. A superhuman amongst us. A mother and a wife. Overflowing with compassion and
dignity, but fearless all the same, never holding back her honest tongue. You felt protected in her presence, and she was always ready to teach you something, prepped with the knowledge of nearly twice my lifetime.
She was healthy. I’ve never met someone who could down the most foul looking concoction, complete with spices strong enough to scare even a seasoned food veteran.
The scarf came along in the winter. Elsinore has both extremes: a grueling summer and a torturous winter. She was always dressed well, even at the restaurant. I had seen her in the scarf one or twice. I mentioned how much I liked it on her. She draped it around my neck and said it looks great on me, too. I’ve always had a hard time accepting gifts. She would not take “No, I couldn’t”. The look in her eyes was enough to know you couldn’t convince her otherwise.
The restaurant closed. It wasn’t the end of the world for me, I hadn’t worked there too long, but Skyla and her sister Tamika had roots there. They had put blood, sweat, tears, and love into the foundation of that building. People came by specifically for their charm.
I spoke with Sky only a handful of times the month or so after we closed up shop. A few times in person. And even after the restaurant she helped build for years was gone, she still radiated. A smile that you never forget.
And then she was gone.
If you had told me that Skyla was sick, that a cold hand was slowly making reach for her, I would’ve gladly wagered my very soul against your odds. I know she fought. I know she stared death in the face and asked for his worst, and she gave him everything she had to push him back in the darkness.
I think of her every few days. When I’m trying out strange recipes, or reading big news stories.
The scarf gives me the same protective feeling that Skyla did. A warmth when the ugly LA wind blows. She engrained something in those fibers. I’ll protect this scarf with my life, so that one day, if it ever happens, my child can feel it, too.
Happy Birthday, Skyla🎈