This morning was different than other mornings. Sure, the sun rose, the birds came out, and the world woke up, but for one family, today has been different than any other day they've known. And here is why:
Talia Castellano, 13 years old, was and will always be a great inspiration. This girl has been through more in six years than most will ever experience in their lifetime, and yet she chose to be positive, optimistic, and a ray of sunshine in what could have been an incredibly dark time.
She even found a passion - beauty and makeup - and shared her talents with the world through her YouTube channel, taliajoy18. In September 2012, she was invited to appear on Ellen and was made an honorary CoverGirl.
I remember watching her tutorial and haul videos with a sense of awe. I knew then that this girl was doing great things in the world just by being herself, and that's something that's inspired me in my own life.
I became interested in makeup because of Talia. Her talent for creating the perfect looks for different occasions really made me want to learn this art for myself and go out and try different products, especially ones that she recommended.
But it wasn't just the makeup portion of her videos that I loved. When she uploaded a cancer vlog documenting the different treatments that she experienced, I remember thinking to myself, "What a brave young soul." She taught me so much about what it meant to truly live through her kindness and genuine appreciation for everything and everybody.
So this morning, this day that seemed just like every other day, I woke up and, instead of checking YouTube like I normally do, I first went to twitter. And, much like how I find out about anything major that happens, I stumbled upon a tweet that someone sent with the hashag "#RIPTalia" and my heart dropped.
I didn't want to believe it. "Maybe this person was talking about a different Talia," I thought, so I went to the hashtag and there it was. Unbelievable.
This girl, this sweet angel, will be dearly missed by her family, friends, and fans. But the light that Talia has brought forth in the world will never be dimmed. Her life, like a ripple effect, will go on to inspire more and more people.
I praise God for her time on this earth. I pray for peace and closure for those who were close with Talia. And, Talia, thank you for everything that you've done for all of us.
Today may not have been like many other days we've seen, but it surely won't be forgotten. May Angels lead you in, Talia. We love you.