Donay AnnaMay Was Here

Donay AnnaMay Cook | 41 years young

Donay AnnaMay is the daughter of Lynn French and Donald Cook. She is the youngest of three siblings (Cayde and Jessica) and was born May 15th, 1981, in Glendive, Montana, and raised in the high heat of Scottsdale, Arizona.

She may have been the youngest of three siblings, but she was most certainly the boss babe of the family.

I first met AnnaMay when we were fifteen years old, and from day one, it felt as though I had collided with a whole new universe. Immediately, I was aware I had come upon a girl who knew who she was. A girl who was a leader and loved unconditionally all those she came in contact with. 

I remember AnnaMay driving me to Los Angeles so I could attend theatre school all those years ago. I remember we were young girls full of untainted dreams and new ideas. I remember we wrote a short play together for a class that AnnaMay was enrolled in. I remember AnnaMay’s smile. I remember the crisp sound of her voice. I remember her courageous fight to be free. I remember the way she would move through space. I remember how happy she was to become a mother. I remember how much I loved her.

It has been two weeks since I received the call that AnnaMay passed away. I can still feel my whole body begin to vibrate as time begins to stand still and slip away, time, a brutal reminder that life is not constant. Losing AnnaMay has been a hard, devasting loss, not only for me but for all of us that loved her dearly, a loss that will never heal with time. 

| Donay was here

A mother

A daughter

A sister

A best friend

A leader

A legend

A storyteller

A survivor

A fighter

An advocate

An original

Brave

Bold

Tough

Yet—

vulnerable, gentle, patient, loving, reliable, and at her best, a truth-teller who would show up and out for anyone who ever needed support. Always there for people. To be friends / to have shared space with AnnaMay will always be a gift and an honor.

To love and be loved by her is a treasure that cannot be quantified. In many forms and mediums, her life will be remembered, honored, and held in high esteem with great respect.

this time / next time / not the right time / there’s enough time / more time / no time / the last time / in time / not enough time—please more time —pain becomes weight // weight, heavy, heavier // too heavy and even the strongest of us must find rest.

I know for sure that telling stories started with my childhood friends. As I enter a play development workshop for the next two weeks in New York, I’ll bring all that AnnaMay was as a bold and fearless spirit into the rehearsal space. I’ll honor her unconditional support and belief that she had in me.  I’ll forever cherish her stubbornness and wild idea that anything is possible and that dreaming is healing.

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