June 13, 2020-
This morning, our city said adios, to one of its brightest lights. I only met Brooklyn, a few times, when I substituted in Mile High Middle School (2011 -12) and in Prescott High School (2013-16). There was no mistaking the bouncy, free-spirited, but respectful, studious and reverent presence, who seemed to ever be in the forefront of whatever was going on- whether it was a bit of dancing in the hallway or being one of the first to participate in a class discussion. She loved being a teenager, being part of a large and community-activist family, and being a Christian.
Brooklyn Ashley Mengarelli was equally at home leading a group at her parents’ summer camp, playing with her infant nephew or goofing around with her classmates (doing a puppy imitation, with downturned “paws” and pretending to pant, rings a bell). She had a serious side, though, attending to her school work-and to the mild, but persistent, epilepsy that shadowed her, from the time she was eight. The latter kept her from driving a car. It would eventually take her life. It did not stop her from living that life to the full.
I believe, no, I KNOW that it was her faith that kept Brooklyn going on. There was not a community event, especially Frontier Days, Acker Music Night, and the annual Rodeo, that went without her presence. So, it was also true, was her devotion to the vibrant congregation, of which she was a member. This morning, the city she loved returned that love.
She will shine down on this community that she so loved, and on the young women who took her into their hearts, at the University of Arizona, these past four years. That’s the silver lining to losing our cherished ones. They’re never really gone. See you again, Brookie.