All of you who've been to my house have seen me wearing this shirt.

Virtually the only shirt I've worn since Bit gave it to me 8 years ago.

It's like having her here with me.

Some or perhaps most of you have some clothes she gave you.

If we all loved each other as much as Bit loved clothes, what a happy world this would be.

When Monique was born, like all babies, she was very small: a little bit of a person.

That's why I called her Bit.

Her friends in Japan called her "Beeto-chan" - "Little Miss Bit."

She used to write MBI all over the walls of our house: Monique Bit Ishikawa.

No one called her Monique until she came here, where her friends call her Mo.

She changed names and clothes with equal frequency.

I've written my words so I won't forget them.

You should all write down or record your memories of Monique - for yourself, for her, and for those who will know of her through your memories.

I'll share one last memory with you:

After Bit spent her first 6 years in Japan, we came to North Van for a few months in 1984 so she could learn some English. She went to first grade at Queen Mary School.

I used to walk her to school every morning, helping her learn new English words.

One morning she asked why I knew more than she did. I told her because I was old, and she was young.

"I'm not young, I'm new," she told me.

And so she was.

It's now up to us to keep that Bit of Monique in each of us, eternally new.

up next