It’s only a week before Christmas eve, but the family of 6-year-old Sandy Hook shooting victim, Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, is shrouded in heavy-heartedness.
The Marquez-Greene family released a statement saying that in her short life, Ana strengthened them with her loving, generous and joyful spirit, and it is with immeasurable grief that they mourn her loss.
“She routinely committed selfless acts of kindness: every drawing or craft project she began was envisioned not for her own enjoyment, but as a gift for another,” said her parents. “She often left sweet notes that read, ‘I love you Mom and Dad,’ under our bedroom pillow – not on special occasions, but, rather, on ordinary days.”
Their home is also quieter as music seemed to trail after Ana wherever she went. Marquez says Ana had a gift for music, taking after her father – saxophonist Jimmy Greene.
“Ana’s love for singing was evident before she was even able to talk,” said her family in a statement. “…And she never walked anywhere – her mode of transportation was dance. She danced from room to room and place to place. She danced to all the music she heard, whether in air or in her head.”
Marquez says Ana also loved to read the Bible and loved to sing and dance as acts of worship.
“We ask that you pray for the legions of people who are left behind to cherish memories of her,” says Marquez on behalf of the whole Marquez Family. “We also ask that you, like Ana, commit selfless acts of kindness to all those around you. Maybe, in some way, through love, similar senseless acts of violence could be prevented.”
One example would be to go out and kiss someone.
“She would not allow me to kiss her goodbye,” says Ana’s mother. “Instead, when I bent down to kiss her, she would take a step backwards, poke out her lips and wait for me to lower my cheek – she made it clear that she wanted to do the kissing.”
Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced. In lieu of gifts and flowers, the family is working to establish scholarships in Ana’s name at Western Connecticut State University’s Department of Music in Danbury, Conn. and the Artist’s Collective in Hartford, Conn.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.