Although it's hard for some to believe, we are quickly approaching the one year anniversary since the coronavirus pandemic changed our lives forever.
For one mother in Queens who lost her only child to COVID-19 last April, the first of anniversary of her daughter's death has her cherishing every memory of their relationship.
"My daughter is always on my mind, and in my heart," said Jackie Walton of Flushing, Queens.
Outliving her only child, who she described as outgoing and magnetic, is a trauma Walton says she never fully recover from.
"She used to hug me, squeeze me so tight," Walton said. "I was like, 'Why you squeeze me so tight?' but now I know."
As the one year anniversary of her 32-year-old daughter Jocelyn's death quickly approaches, Walton tells NY1 Jocelyn had suffered from seasonal asthma. After experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, she had spent her final 13 days of life in a hospital, unable to see family as she battled severe pneumonia.
"With the anniversary coming up, I've been thinking about that," says Walton. "I'm going to go to the place where I laid her ashes and I'm going to release balloons in remembrance of her."
During Jocelyn Walton's short life, she graduated from the NYPD's Police Academy and worked as a school safety officer for five years at a public school in Flushing, where she was born and raised, before moving to Bushwick as an adult.
More recently, Walton's entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the music business led to her opening a recording studio in Ridgewood, Queens along with a travel business. As the owner of both companies, Walton took pride in mentoring others.
"She lived above scripture," her mother said, "always wanting to help. Always positive!"
Looking forward, Jackie Walton told us she's trying to remain positive about the future, until she is reunited with her daughter.
"I may look to others sometimes that I'm carrying this with ease," Walton said. "But it's heavy and my faith gets me through a lot because I know God is in control and he doesn't make mistakes."
In a cell phone video posted on social media that was recorded on March, 15, 2020, exactly one month before her life was cut short, Jocelyn Walton said, "I'm not a motivational speaker. I'm not here to preach to anyone. I just want to say live it up, live to the fullest for the purpose that you've put her on this plant to fulfill."
"She was just a good person," her mother said. "I miss that. I miss that a lot."