My Favorite Memories – by Betsy Whitmarsh, a memorial of Chelsea Rose Murphy
I found god in myself
and I loved her,
I loved her fiercely.
– Ntozaje Shange
This poem has always made me think of you, Chelsea. I’ve never known anyone as outwardly self-assured as you. I’ve always marveled at your confidence. You were such a combination of strength, beauty, intelligence and compassion that you had every reason to feel good about yourself. However, most young girls don’t have the clarity of vision or the strength of character that you possessed. You stayed true to yourself. Even when you felt like things weren’t going well, you were startlingly honest and insightful, both with and about yourself.
One of my favorite memories of you will always be when you wanted to model for me all the new underwear and bras you got for Christmas. Of course, ALL the underwear was thongs! I was so proud and tickled and amazed by you. Never in a million years would I have had the self-confidence to do a “fashion show” in my underwear and yet, to you, it was the most normal thing in the world. Now I think about it, I recall that there were actually quite a few of these Victoria Secret “Fashion Shows.” You were always so excited whenever you got a new bra or thong and you literally had dozens of them. I think we actually counted your bras once. You had something like one for every day of the month!
Oh, sweetie, what I would give to be sitting on your bed with you, shaking my head and laughing while you showed me your new clothes, thongs and all.