My only wish each day is to wake up from this nightmare. A morning call on March 22, 2017 altered my life forever. “Angela died,” I hear my mother cry, barely able to get it out. Those words, the reality of it all will haunt me forever.
A dear part of me was stolen. This was not supposed to happen. . . not to a young, loving mother, not to my baby sister. This was not in His plan . . .
Due to Angela’s age and no obvious signs pointing to her death, a routine state police investigation was performed and the coroner’s autopsy results have stated an undetermined cause of death. This conclusion gives us no peace—the horror lingers. We do know she was speaking out of stomach pains the day before, yet there was nothing in Angela’s system that would have caused death.
My stomach feels gutted; my heart bares another wound so deep I fear no bandage or stitch can heal it. I continue catching myself about to text Angie, or saying to myself “I can’t wait to tell Angela . . .” It is this, knowing the person I trusted most will no longer be around. It is a devastating truth.
Although I wake each morning, heartbroken in this never ending nightmare, I am fortunate to have nothing but beautiful memories of my little sister. One of the earliest, of many, is an example of her generosity. After little Angela attended a party at a popular ’90s venue called the Roller Rink, we rode back home with our parents; I caught sight of Angela’s goodie bag overflowing with candy and toys. Knowing how coveted these items were at that age I’d never think she’d share. Without hesitation, Angela handed over the bag to me and allowed me to pick out whatever my heart desired.
Love. A word Angela lived by more than any other. It is a word accurate enough to describe how she lived her life, with love. It’s also a word sprinkled in every room of her home: on decorations, drawings, and statues. Adornments of Eiffel Towers, white and pink roses, posters of embracing couples, and candles adorned her living space. Angela was a true romantic.
Angela’s unrelenting love for her daughter Lacey was the most incredible relationship you could ever imagine. Lacey was more than her daughter, she was her sidekick, her princess, her best friend, her everything. Whenever Angela arrived to pick Lacey up, Lacey’s eyes would widen and she’d scurry to mama like it was Christmas morning. Angela always made time for Lacey, no matter what she was doing. If Lacey wanted her attention, Angela would gladly give it.
After Angela passed, I heard a voice repeat something in my head, something Angela always told Lacey, “Tell her [Lacey] mommy loves her. Mommy loves you.” A message straight from Angela.
Angela was taken from Lacey at four years old, a heartbreaking reminder that life is not fair, it is not equal, and it can be so cruel. Angela’s love, despite the world’s cruelty, will carry on in our hearts. Angela would have wanted that more than anything.
Love is all she wanted for others, too. If you were fortunate enough to know her, she’d be sure to shower you with it.
Many were intimidated by Angela’s beauty but you needn’t ever worry, she was as down to earth as they come; and her immense popularity was not controlled by status, money, or physical beauty. No. Her popularity was from the love she gave, genuine to all people, for who they were inside. An example of this was her dedication to caring for the elderly and disabled in local group homes. The compassion, care, and attention she gave these people was admirable. You’d have peace of mind leaving your loved ones in Angela’s care.
Her acceptance of me during our early teens, despite what others thought was acceptable at the time, is an example of her compassion, her willingness to leave judgment behind. She genuinely cared about who I was as a person. She cared about who people were, as they were, not who she wanted them to be.
Loyalty. Although others may have let Angela down, she forgave. Angela was a person you’d want to work hard to keep in your life because you knew she’d give you everything a meaningful relationship deserved—plus a smashing good time!
Angela graduated high school and college with honors and continued her career with a passion for cleaning by owning her own business called Angela’s Shimmer and Shine Cleaners. She also incorporated her exquisite interior design skills into her work. I am honored she chose me to design the company logo for her.
I am so grateful Angela was a part of my major accomplishments and that I was a part of hers. Her support for the people she loved was infinite. When no one else bothered, you can count on her to be there for you.
Without regrets, Angela truly lived a life made for a Hollywood movie; much of it like her idol Marilyn Monroe. If you knew her, you’d agree the similarities between them were uncanny.
After the viewing, Angela’s loved ones gathered for a toast to celebrate her life. Before we began, we each gave a word to describe her. It didn’t take more than a breath to think of one, as her personality was so full of life. To name a few: loving, giving, kind, innocent, beautiful, an Angel, silly, and one-of-a kind.
If you wanted to be a part of something exciting, you flocked to Angela, the life of the party. Her angelic smile would comfort you, make you feel like everything would be alright. In fact, Angela was crowned “Best Smile” in her yearbook under the “Senior Superlatives” section. When you made a joke, no matter how unfunny, she’d laugh, giving you a sense of loving acceptance. She wanted you to know she thought you were great.
There is a place in my heart only Angela can fill. The bond we shared was incomparable to anyone else; I am grateful and proud to call her my sister. Although she and I had so many future plans, one of them being a part of my wedding and I a part of hers, I will always carry her in my heart wherever I go. Thank you, Angela. I love you with my whole heart. I miss you greatly. You stayed strong, just like I told you to.
Our sincerest thanks for all your heartfelt thoughts, prayers, support, sustenance, and your presence with us at the viewing and funeral. Your positive thoughts and prayers during this difficult time have comforted our family and loved ones. Please keep Angela alive by embracing and retelling the wonderful memories you’ve shared with her.
In loving memory of Angela Baloga, who will forever be watching over us and be present in our hearts.
Your big brother Chris