Cheryl’s mom says ‘thanks’ 

It took place in Oklahoma City, in the Paseo Arts District. She was rushed to OU Medical Center in critical condition and spent the weekend on life support. Cheryl passed away March 7, a little before noon, surrounded by the love of her family and friends.

Everything happened so quickly and unexpectedly, I was hardly able to process the situation. Even now, I have trouble wrapping my head around what happened to my precious girl. I still expect her to walk through my front door at any moment, drop her book bags with a thud, and proclaim, “Hey, Mom, I’m home!” Cheryl was vibrant, happy, healthy and on the right track — a hard worker who held two part-time jobs while attending school full-time. She was also a budding artist who had exhibited her work locally. Yet, despite her busy lifestyle, she still managed to build positive relationships and touch many lives around her. She was an extraordinary young woman, best remembered for her generosity and kindness.

I wanted to write an open letter to say a wholehearted “thank you” to all of the wonderful people that stood by us in our hour of need — people of all ages and backgrounds, friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, first responders, health-care professionals and even complete strangers. In a day when the negative side of humanity seems to receive the most press, it amazed and comforted me to see so many human beings coming together, bound by love and compassion; good-hearted people who determined that my family should not suffer such an ordeal alone. We offer you our sincerest gratitude. Cheryl would have been happy — no, thrilled — to have been a conduit for such good. That was one of her priorities: bringing out the best in people.

Thank you to those who offered their time and support, a shoulder to cry on; to those who donated food, and sent cards and flowers; to those who got word out about Cheryl’s blood drive at the University of Central Oklahoma and/ or donated blood. Thank you to those who created T-shirts, window decals and DVDs in her memory; to those who brought over photographs and shared memories; to those who donated to Cheryl’s scholarship fund at Oklahoma Employees Credit Union. Thank you to those who spoke on her behalf at her service or posted on her Facebook page; to those who visited us in the hospital; to all of the professionals who tried their utmost to save her life. Thank you to the nurse who tied a little yellow ribbon in her hair. We love each and every one of you. God bless you, always.

—Niki Bauer
Oklahoma City

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