First word that comes to mind. Before her name. Before the multiple last names, given and taken. Before shared geography or family. Nicknames, street names, school mascots. Before she was considered wife, mother, grandmother, wife again, step mother. Before she was diminished to a cluster of words pointing to parts of her that were sick. Before the words signaling to all who heard that she had a grave diagnosis. Before she was anything other than what was.

Before being yours. She was mine. Smart. The whole construct. The whole of the parts that make up the entire idea of being smart.

Smart. Capital S.

After years of hating each other and some blood drawn as a result, for I always needed a weapon and used the ones at my disposal, Smart taught me to write a mean paragraph. Smart showed me that nature and nurture had no bearing on our inherent nature to know. To wonder. To learn. To leave systems of power in the dust with a well placed modifier and a spectacular vocabulary.

Before the first word that comes to your mind when you think of her, my sister Sara was Smart to me. Sara was Smart. My heart cannot heal. Nor should it.

I love you Smart.

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