JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Tuesday, hundreds gathered to celebrate the life of Tristyn Bailey at a public memorial hosted by Celebration Church.
The two hour event in honor of the “superstar, one-in-a-trillion” 13-year-old was packed with educators, religious leaders, friends, and family, all of whom were there to tell the world how Tristyn shined her light in their lives.
In the two weeks since Tristyn’s death, the grim details have captivated a community, but on Tuesday, the love and light Tristyn brought to the world shone brightly through the stories that were told about her. Here are seven fun things we learned about Tristyn from the memories that were shared (inspired by the “Bailey 7″):
1. She was a loyal friend
Tristyn’s mom said she cared deeply for her friends, defended those who could not defend themselves, and always supported the underdog. Her mom called her “the kind of friend that I would like to have.”
“For those of you who were blessed to personally know her, you know what an amazing and fiery personality she had. You can attest that she was the kind of friend you would like to have. She always had your back.”
2. Her determination was unmatched
When Tristyn first approached her parents about her desire to become a competitive cheerleader, her mom -- a former cheer coach -- wasn’t having any of it. But Tristyn wouldn’t take no for an answer. She practiced on her own, teaching herself the splits and other movements.
Her mom said she “had a drive in her soul to be the best and always give 100-percent to achieve her goals.”
Eventually, her mother gave in.
3. She loved to spill the tea
Every afternoon after school, her mother said Tristyn always gave her the “Tea of the Day” (that’s the latest news or gossip for those unfamiliar with the term). Even the mothers of some of Tristyn’s closest friends said they would get their own elaborate retellings of the latest-and-greatest happenings from the spirited teen, often to and from school, on the way to competitions, or on weekend shopping trips.
4. She really loved Starbucks
Tristyn was always down for some Starbucks. In what her sister Brittney remembered as one of her favorite memories, she said all she ever had to say to her sister was, “Do you want to...?” and Tristyn would be at the door, shoes on, and asking if they could stop at Starbucks on the way.
What is a trip to Target without Starbucks? Incomplete, that’s what.
5. She’s been a standout since birth
A common thread ran through the stories of all who spoke: Tristyn was born a star. From the moment she entered the world “she was just like, ”here I am,” her mom said. Her sister said she lit up any room, usually “with her fresh Tik Tok moves.”
6. She loved to “coodle”
No, not cuddle. Coodle. Tristyn would insist you know the difference. And her family said she was always down for a great coodle session.
7. She let people know she loved them. Often.
Many who spoke of Tristyn recalled how easy it was for the middle schooler to express her feelings. A mother of one of Tristyn’s friend said “she told us she loved us every single day.”
Another promised learn to say “‘I love you’ as freely and as comfortably” as Tristyn has shown her.
Cox Media Group