In Memory of Sami K. Hartsfield, ACP
As most of you know, writing is something that comes easy for me. However, as I sit to write these words, I realize this is the first time I’ve ever had the opportunity to write a tribute regarding someone in my inner circle. Before beginning this piece, I paused, reflected, and asked myself if a formal tribute was something I should do. I determined that a formal tribute via The Paralegal Society was not only appropriate, but absolutely essential, so that Sami’s family and friends would have an opportunity to know what a bright light she was, not only in their lives, but also within the paralegal community.
So, today, it is with a heavy heart, that I write a brief, but heartfelt tribute to both, the paralegal, and the person, Sami was. Sami worked as a paralegal and freelance writer in Houston, Texas. She was a NALA Advanced Certified Paralegal, and earned six specialty certifications in Discovery; Trial Practice; Contracts Management; Social Security Disability Law; and Entity & Individual Medical Liability. She worked as a law firm Webmaster, law firm social media marketer, and ghostwriter for personal injury law firms, and held a degree in paralegal studies with a 4.0 GPA and a bachelor of science degree in political science, graduating summa cum laude. She interned with Texas’ 14th Court of Appeals under Chief Justice Adele Hedges, and completed the University of Houston Law Center’s Summer 2008 Prelaw Institute with a 4.0. She was an avid blogger on Legally Blog (www.samihartsfield.wordpress.com) and was writing her first book, which she was very eager to complete. She was also a loving mother who leaves behind an adult son and two young daughters.
For those of you who don’t know Sami or perhaps not that well, she was a fellow paralegal, blogger, writer, creative thinker, positive person, and someone I consider a personal friend. She was also a regular, guest contributor to The Paralegal Society. Sami and I exchanged e-mails regularly. Over the past year, she is someone I have gotten to know quite well. She was a kind and generous person, with a positive spirit, who was very intelligent, witty, and always willing to give of herself and her time. She was one of the people in my life who constantly had me laughing (often, aloud), as I checked my in box to see what gems of wisdom and humor she sent my way. One of the things I learned about Sami, during our friendship over the course of the past year, was that she truly believed in the power of positive thinking; that we each have an opportunity to make of our lives what we will.
So, today, we pay Sami tribute. We celebrate the bright light she emanated within the paralegal profession, the knowledge she shared with those around her, and her uncanny ability to immediately connect with those who had the opportunity to know her on a more personal level.
In honor of Sami, I’d like to share one of my favorite, inspirational pieces:
“Today, I’m going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I’ve had so far…”
“Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this is the best day of my life, ever! There were times when I wondered if I would make it to today; but I did! And because I did I’m going to celebrate!
Today, I’m going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I have had so far: the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make me stronger.
I will go through this day with my head held high, and a happy heart. I will marvel at the Universe seemingly simple gifts: the morning dew, the sun, the clouds, the trees, the flowers, the birds. Today, none of these miraculous creations will escape my notice.
Today, I will share my excitement for life with other people. I’ll make someone smile. I’ll go out of my way to perform an unexpected act of kindness for someone I don’t even know.
Today, I’ll give a sincere compliment to someone who seems down. I’ll tell a child how special he is, and I’ll tell someone I love just how deeply I care for her and how much she means to me.
Today is the day I quit worrying about what I don’t have and start being grateful for all the wonderful things the Universe has already given me.
I’ll remember that to worry is just a waste of time because my faith in the Divine Plan ensures everything will be just fine.
And tonight, before I got to bed, I’ll go outside and raise my eyes to the heavens. I will stand in awe at the beauty of the stars and the moon.
As the day ends and I lay my head down on my pillow, I will thank the Universe for the best day of my life. And I will sleep the sleep of a contented child, excited with expectation because now tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life, ever!”
– Gregory M. Lousignont
You will be missed, Sami.