We painted this mural at our community center for Yazidi survivors in honor of Kayla. It is a way to honor the life the lived, the love she shared, and the compassion she ignited in so many of us. I choose to hold onto the positive memories, the blessings, and the gratitude I feel for having Kayla as one of my closest friends.
Kayla inspired me to return to my path of service. She opened my heart to spirituality and inspired me to live a life of simplicity. She supported me in overcoming an eating disorder by helping me seek guidance and talking me through the process.
We held candles and signs together advocating for victims of genocide in the DR Congo. We met new friends from all over the world as she introduced me to Couchsurfing. We flew to DC together to STAND against genocide. We met other university students at NAU to create global change. We spent hours working together on campus and spent our nights studying in our apartment (often times taking a break to go dancing). We had plans to travel together in Armenia and other countries around the world.
February 6th is a painful day for many of us. I found myself at a loss of words yesterday as I was reminded of the pain Kayla endured while in captivity, and of the pain our community experienced three years ago when ISIS tweeted on this day that Kayla’s life had been taken. It is easy to get lost in this whirlwind of pain, so each February I choose to devote myself to the selfless service Kayla embodied.
This year we are focusing on Bringing Light to Iraq and on the LHI Refugee Center for Yazidi survivors here in Greece.
Rest well Kayla, your mission to relieve the suffering in the world is carried on in all those you inspired during your short time here on earth. You are in our hearts always.