I had never met her before when she showed up for the shoot at the studio, Nov 19, 2017.
All I new was that Rachel thought she was pretty and that was good enough for me.
When she walked into my night, the room suddenly got brighter and I declined her request to give her time to put on lips and eyes. “Not needed”, I replied because she was a natural beauty.
I have nothing against makeup or lipstick or mascara … it’s just that sometimes you encounter someone with a natural beauty and any attempt to add to it, only subtracts from it.
I put her through her paces and she pulled off the shoot as if it was all just another day. Her comfort in front of the lens, her ability to shift from soft to sensual, only occasionally interspersed with a howl of laughter.
The camera loved her and pretty soon I found myself following the same destiny. Just one of those people, you know? The kind that walks into your life and never leave.
She left yesterday.
Just five weeks after the shoot, while driving a hot dinner to her friend on Christmas Eve, she was t-boned by some reckless 17 year old, who ran a stop sign at high speed.
Her life was shattered, body broken, neck crushed and almost 3 years and 30 surgeries later, they pulled the plug on her yesterday.
I met her after her first hospital stint and though she bore the physical scarring you would expect, her inner beauty still radiated. She had no voice but had big plans and just wanted to get her life back on track, if she could just get a second chance.
But life is a bastard and doesn’t care if you are good person or bad. She never got that chance. Good things do not happen to good people. Things just happen regardless.
To those that loved MJ, the loss is huge. To the world, the loss is unknown.
You can measure a person by the hole they leave behind in the hearts of those that knew them. If so, she was a giant.