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Life is short and the lesson we learn after losing good, kind-hearted people is that we won’t be on earth forever. This begs the question, what are we doing to make our world a better place? 

Photo Credit: Moritz Taylor

This December, we lost a friend, schoolmate, disability rights champion and superwoman, Cacsmy Brutus aka Mama Cax. When I received word of her death, I was surprised because, after all, she is the superstar Mama Cax, who I came to know as Cacsmy. Cacsmy did a lot for so many communities, she showed the world that people with disabilities can do anything, and should be valued. I remember her being at most CCNY functions, she was a very active person. So, when I heard of her passing I remembered the last time I ran into her and another mutual friend, Vanessa Alexis, at a Thai Restaurant in Brooklyn.

Vanessa’s tribute to an ole friend, traveler, and icon:

In the summer of 2011, I had the opportunity to travel to France with Cacsmy. This was my second time traveling to France. Cacsmy was traveling there because she was studying abroad in Italy. We visited the Eiffel tower and to the museum, Musèe d’Orsay. Our time together was an adventure! Most of our time was spent taking breaks to admire French cuisine–Cacsmy loved food–art and the French infrastructure and architecture. We took joy in asking for directions in French so we could find our way to different tourist attractions. At the time, I was working on a minor in French and Cacsmy had learned French, since she grew up in Haiti, so for her, it was a joy to practice. This was a happy time for us, we couldn’t stop smiling because of the fact that we were two Haitian girls, from Brooklyn, enjoying the summer in Europe.

Cacsmy & Vanessa

As her friend and college mate, I can say that Cacsmy had a beautiful soul; she loved learning about history and humanity. Traveling was a way of her discovering these things, in addition to discovering about herself and others. I must say that I was fortunate to know a wonderful individual. She encouraged me to travel and to never stop learning and making connections with different people, who I meet on life’s journey. 

Thanks for leaving our world a little better with your influence. Sleep on, you will be missed and forever be etched in our memory and hearts.


Co-Author: Vanessa Alexis
Instagram: Timeless_blue_butterfly_
Photo Credit (Instagram): Morrybyte

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